Publish date: 2 March 2023
I couldn’t possibly start this any other way than to talk about the Royal Visit to Clitheroe Community Hospital yesterday, which I know without question will be a highlight of this year for the Trust (and I say this knowing it is only January).
To meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was an honour and a privilege and I was so proud to be able to introduce them to colleagues and patients who work in and around the hospital.
I want to thank them for taking the time to call in on us and also every single person who was involved in the meticulous planning and preparation an engagement of this magnitude requires.
I know the photographs and news coverage captured the uplifting spirit and genuine joy of the afternoon perfectly – but make no mistake there was a huge and detailed amount of work that went on behind the scenes in advance.
In particular, I want to mention Catriona Logan, Jane Pemberton, Dr Vanessa Warren and Rachel Walton from the Community Integrated Care (CIC) division for the effort they put into making it the brilliant event that it was but also the personal pride and attention they provided to every detail.
They considered everything, thought of everything and fixed everything in a very short space of time – and the result could not have been any better, in any way.
The initial invitation was something developed by Denise Gee, who manages the Trust’s charity ELHT&ME, through her connection with the national charity NHS Charities Together (NHSCT) who were beneficiaries of the money raised by the late Captain Tom. Denise is chair of the North West committee and has been instrumental in identifying very large grants for the Trust from the charity and in ultimately bringing Their Royal Highnesses to Clitheroe.
I know the team were (of course) excited to meet the Royal couple themselves, but the number one objective, from the start, was to put colleague across ELHT front and centre and make sure it was about them. I was part of the initial discussion and it was clear this event would provide a really big morale boost across all settings and services - and we really weren’t wrong.
Between those that organised, to the brave colleagues who sat around the table with the Duke and Duchess to talk about the impact the pandemic has had on their health and wellbeing, to the team supporting the fabulous patient Bill Taylor – who charmed the Royal couple with stories about his life and care – the visit was a perfect reflection of the Trust, everyone in it and everything we do around here.