Chief Officer’s Blog 17 September 2021

Hello everyone,

A slightly shorter blog today at the end of a very busy, but very productive week for the Partnership.

On Tuesday we hosted our bi-monthly Partnership Board meeting – which was David Flory’s first as our Interim Chair.  Echoing David’s opening remarks, we must seize the opportunity to shape something really special for our population, and through the establishment of our statutory Integrated Care Partnership from April 2022, we must continue to foster an equal sense of partnership and ownership.

This sentiment was reinforced at our facilitated ICS Development Workshop on Thursday, when system leaders discussed the crucial importance of our developing ‘Place-Based Partnerships’ in ensuring we put our communities at the heart of everything we do.

This week’s publication of ‘Partnership Working’ served as a timely reminder of the great work everyone in the Partnership continues to deliver to improve health and wellbeing and tackle inequalities. You’re doing this while keeping us firmly on track with our progress in attaining statutory ICS status – which is recognised and hugely appreciated. Please take time to read about and be proud of your achievements.

Celebrating our success is key, so I was delighted to hear that our ‘Getting Under the Skin’ project (as featured in Partnership Working) took home both the ‘Use of Insight and Data for Innovation in Communications Award’ and the ‘Best Behaviour Change or Public Health Campaign Award’ at Thursday’s NHS Communicate Awards. This is a fantastic achievement and I’m proud of all involved. We’re all hoping that these are the first of many awards for our Partnership, as ‘Getting Under the Skin’ and two of our other projects are finalists at November’s HSJ Awards. Fingers crossed!

Next week sees the launch of the next phase of our COVID vaccination campaign and, hopefully, the start of the home straight of what really has been a marathon! Following Government announcements earlier this week we are preparing to deliver vaccinations to 12–15-year-olds and to roll out the booster programme across the region, focussing on the over-50s and most vulnerable.

Our fight against COVID is not over yet and sadly our hospitals are admitting a growing number of unvaccinated young people – with critical care capacity already stretched and winter on the horizon. We must continue to do all we can to get the key messages out there that it is so important to take up the offer of a vaccine, wash your hands regularly, wear a mask when you can and keep a safe distance. Hands. Face. Space.

Thank you all for another great week,

Take care

Sheena

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