For those of you I have not been able to meet or speak to you yet, my name is Steve Fogg and I am Chair of the Trust Board here at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals.
Firstly, I want to tell you how incredibly proud I am to be part of this organisation. This past year has been challenging for everyone, but clearly none more so than the NHS team. To be able to do my bit to support you is an honour.
Since my appointment in January I have heard and seen for myself the relentless effort put in by everyone as part of our response to the pandemic. People in the community recognise this and are grateful, but I don’t think anyone outside of the Trust can fully understand what it has really, truly been like. I know the physical and emotional toll has been huge and I want to say thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for our patients and their families, as well as each other.
Please remember there is a wide range of individual and team health and well being support available. If you or anyone you work with needs some help, you only need to ask.
Now the infections levels have slowed and the vaccination programme continues to make the most magnificent progress, I am trying to get out to see you all in person. It’s something I feel very strongly about and whilst it’s important to do this safely and appropriately, I don’t think you can beat seeing someone in person for a catch up and a cuppa.
So, if you find a request in your diary please do accept it if you can. It would be great to see you, hear about your experiences and any ideas or suggestions for how we can do things differently or better. I intend to visit as many teams as possible but also join some clinical shifts including in the evenings and weekends. I’m really looking forward to meeting as many people as possible.
In a previous life I was a Managing Director with BAe Systems and was always known as the kind of colleague who ‘walked the floor’. I intend to keep this tradition up here and if you see me ‘out and about’, please say hello.
I am also passionate about the Fylde Coast and I intend to do everything I can to support our recovery as an area following the pandemic but also by working with the Trust to reduce the health equalities that are so visible in our communities. I am part of the Pride of Place Board for Blackpool, Chair of the Fylde Coast Responsible Business Network and have recently joined the Board at Blackpool and Fylde College.
I want to use these connections to bring the Trust together with as many other organisations, people and groups as possible, to ensure we play our part fully in improving life for residents in the region. I am keen on the concept of becoming an ‘anchor institution’ – recognising we have a very big part to play not only in providing quality services to local people but also much needed jobs and training which can underpin the economy and an influential and inspiring voice in the community.
To be successful I believe we need to be collaborative and inclusive – encouraging people to work together to achieve key outcomes. This will be key in the next few months as we move to restore our waiting lists. I know this will be hard on you, that you’re still recovering from the past 12 months, but I also know we are as one in our concerns around patient safety and doing everything we can to ensure people don’t get worse, suffer more or be reduced by the worry and stress of waiting.
We all joined the NHS for the same reason – to help and care for people who need us. Though tired, that remains our aim and I’ll certainly do everything I can to support you.
If you want me to pop in or you have something you’d like to tell me or talk about, please do feel free to get in touch.