Out and about with the chairman

Over the past few weeks, I’ve continued to meet with a wide range of colleagues from across the NHS and the Scottish Government to discuss the future shape of health and social care.

I’ve been particularly impressed with the input to the thinking around this that has come from clinicians and other people working on the front line. It’s really important that the people who have first-hand experience of caring for the population of Greater Glasgow and Clyde have a say in designing the new integrated health and social care system.

As this work progresses, I’m certain more opportunities will arise for staff and patients to get involved in making sure that we introduce services that are fit for purpose and help us to deliver better health, better care and better value as described in the NHS Scotland Health and Social Care Delivery Plan.

Last month I also visited Lightburn Hospital with Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport and Ivan McKee, the local MSP for Glasgow Provan. This visit gave us the opportunity to see first-hand the services provided in Lightburn.

No doubt this visit and the discussions that the Cabinet Secretary had with patients and staff will help inform her decision on the Board’s proposal to relocate the rehabilitation of elderly services to other units in the north east of Glasgow.

On the same day, Shona and I also visited the Royal Hospital for Children where we saw the work of the emergency department. We were both greatly impressed by the dedication and professionalism of everyone involved in the care of the babies and children who find themselves in need of such specialist care at what must be difficult and stressful times for them and their families.

A few weeks later I accompanied Shona when she visited the neonatal unit at the maternity unit on the QEUH campus. We spent a couple of hours there talking to parents and staff about how this service has developed to become a centre of excellence for high quality, patient-centred care.

The way that the doctors and nurses in the neonatal unit have involved the parents in improving the service is a great example of how changes to healthcare should be designed and delivered.

I’d recommend a visit to the neonatal unit to anyone thinking about how to improve their engagement with their own service users.

More recently, Jane Grant and I visited the Maggie’s Centre at Gartnavel Royal Hospital where we met patients and their relatives who explained how much they benefit from having this great facility so close to the Beatson Cancer Centre. We also appreciated the time the staff at Maggie’s gave us to explain in more detail how they provide practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their families and friends. Maggie’s is one of a number of charities that do fantastic work to support people as they come to terms with a cancer diagnosis and I would encourage everyone to take any opportunity to support Maggie’s and the other health and social care charities that do so much good work across the UK.

And finally, I visited Shettleston Health Centre where sister Marie Kirk gave me my flu jab! I firmly believe that protecting ourselves against the effects of the flu virus is something that all NHS staff should accept as their personal responsibility.

Winter has now arrived and if we are to deliver the level of service that our patients require over the coming months, it is vital that our staff are fit for work and able to meet our patients’ needs.

Avoiding being absent due to flu is one obvious way of making sure we have the right number of people on duty at the right time and, of course, we want to reduce the risk of passing on the virus to patients who are already suffering from other illnesses.

If you haven’t already had your flu jab, I’d encourage you to get it now. You can do this through peer immunisation, or by appointment with Occupational Health.

For further information, visit: www.nhsggc.org.uk/HRconnect