Having spent the last 34 years of my career working in the NHS, you will understand why I am rather proud of it.
I honestly believe it to be one of the biggest jewels in our nation’s crown and I feel honoured to spend dedicated time every week shadowing our clinical teams to understand the challenges and triumphs they experience, and how we might improve in the future.
We are moving towards an increased focus of care in the community, closer to patients’ homes. We must also encourage everyone to think more about self-care, which could include making those small but vital lifestyle changes to support your health or visiting your local GP for help and advice for conditions which can be treated over the counter. There is always more we can all do to play our parts in keeping ourselves and our communities healthy.
I took up the role of chief executive in June and one thing that has surprised me while I have been on my travels is the number of patients who have come into the care of our services when early action could have made a huge difference to the type of care they receive.
This might be because they didn’t want to cause any bother to health services, thought something would get better on its own, didn’t share their concerns with friends or relatives, or simply didn’t follow the expert advice they have previously been given.
This particularly relates to the more vulnerable community members.
We all have a societal responsibility not to take unnecessary risks which may ultimately be detrimental to us or those around us.
As a community NHS Trust, we pride ourselves on working at the heart of our towns and villages, and doing all we can to support the whole family; whether it be during a child’s early years, for recovery and rehabilitation following illness or at the end of someone’s life.
Please remember, the NHS belongs to each and every one of us, so work with us to make it the best it can possibly be and take heed that prevention is better than the cure.