A time to be open and provide assurance

Kevin McGee

Kevin McGee

It would be entirely remiss of me not to focus this week’s blog with an update following the well-publicised development in a long-running Police investigation focused on the stroke unit at Blackpool Victoria.

Lancashire Police yesterday announced the investigating team had made an arrest and, if you have not seen it, you can read their full statement here. This represents a significant moment and milestone for the Trust.

Whilst it’s important to me to always be open and transparent about patient safety and the quality of care, it would be inappropriate of me to say much more at this stage. We have co-operated fully with these enquiries and continue to do so but it is an ongoing, live and complex enquiry and I would not wish to jeopardise its progress in any way.

I think I speak for colleagues at the Trust as a whole, however, when I say we are universally committed to supporting the Police. For this reason, I will add that I want to explicitly encourage anyone who knows anything that might help the investigation to come forward, whether that’s patients, families, staff or the wider community. Do not underestimate how any small snippet of information might prove material.

There are families that have been and continue to be significantly impacted by this investigation. It has hit all the staff hard too and we are supporting them.

I have said it many times before and particularly over the past 12 months during our response to the Covid pandemic – the staff here at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals are amazing and I am so proud to be part of the team.

That’s the NHS I know and love and have passionately served for more than 35 years.

I am aware that this development might dent public confident in our services and I want to end by providing some assurance to people that we recognise this.

I spoke just a couple of weeks ago about a range of improvements that have been made and are being recognised by regulators and peers across the health and social care system in Lancashire and South Cumbria and the North West as a whole.

Everyone continues to focus a great deal of time and effort on ensuring that the quality of everything we do makes a tangible, positive difference to the lives of local people. This has continued even alongside the huge and undeniable draw on our energy and resources from a virus that has dominated our lives over the past 12 months.

This is important. There are great people doing great things in the Trust and we should always remember that.

Just yesterday, at the Trust Board’s bi-monthly meeting, we heard from a colleague about his experience of working within the medical team for some years. It was inspiring to hear how he felt we had empowered colleagues in recent years to embrace education and research to become ‘pioneers’ in many ways, piloting new procedures to great success.

I’m really proud that we have been able to do this and I’d like to thank teams across the Trust for their determination, resilience and hard work.

This year has been hard for us – possibly the hardest we will ever live through – but good to know we haven’t lost our spirit, our ambition and our determination to make a difference. Our energy levels will return and, when they do, there will be no stopping us I am sure.

Take care


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