Hospital staff have their say as health chief launches new drop-in sessions

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A hospital trust chief has launched a new scheme to improve communication among staff at sites across the organisation.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Julie Gillon recently met with staff at the University Hospital of Hartlepool for a cup of coffee and a chat as part of the new scheme.

The University Hospital of Hartlepool is one of those which were studied to see if downgrading A&E departments led to more deaths.

The University Hospital of Hartlepool is one of those which were studied to see if downgrading A&E departments led to more deaths.

She said: “I have recently started arranging informal drop-in meetings with staff so I can answer any questions or respond to any themes or ideas they may have.

“I am really pleased with how successful they have been so far.

“People from across the hospital and the community came along, raising a number of very valuable points.

“We know that the fact that we are a trust with two main hospital sites means we need to consistently work to integrate the whole organisation together.

“Staff in Hartlepool raised the point that they sometimes feel separate from the rest of the trust, and we know we can always do more to help everyone across our patch in Stockton, Hartlepool, Peterlee and Easington feel more integrated.

“This boils down to communication and events such as these, which allow the sharing of key messages and a discussion on things that matter both locally and trust wide.”

She also said staff talked about the success of elective care at the Hartlepool site and added: “The pathway we have with the access lounge, operating theatres and the joint replacement unit has been very successful, and we need to continue to build on this progress.

“There was some discussion around doing more promotion to the public around the treatment we are offering at Hartlepool and raising the profile.

“We accept we can always do more and are currently in the process of recruiting a new role for head of communications and marketing to address this.”

Other issues included increasing the number of volunteers working at Hartlepool’s hospital, including a welcomer at the main entrance to the building, work rotas, staff sickness, making the site smoke-free and doing more to inform GPs in the area about the services the trust offers.

Ms Gillon added: “Overall, I was really pleased with how well attended the event was and with the passion staff clearly had for helping us improve as a trust.

“Thank you to everyone who came along – I am really proud to work with such dedicated and committed people.”