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West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust looks back at last year

 Published on: 20th October 2017   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

Around 100 people from across Watford, St Albans, Hemel Hempstead and surrounding areas gathered at Watford Hospital yesterday (October 1) for West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust’s Annual General Meeting. The event was an opportunity for patients, local people, staff and volunteers to find out more about the trust’s work over the last year and plans for 2015 and beyond. The 2013/14 Annual Report and Accounts, and the Quality Account, were also launched at the event. As well as hearing presentations from doctors, nurses and other staff, visitors had the opportunity to learn more about the work of a number of different local health organisations including Healthwatch Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust and Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. There were also displays from other local partners including the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service, and Hertfordshire Age UK. The meeting was formally opened by Chair, Mahdi Hasan, who handed over to Trust Chief Executive, Samantha Jones for a review of the past year and a look to the future. The work of the elderly care team was showcased, including major changes made to improve the care we provide to patients with dementia. The audience was also given an update on plans to invest £25.5 million upgrading IT systems, including replacing old and outdated computers and providing free WiFi to patients and visitors across trust sites. Guests were also able to raise questions directly with the executive team with discussions around the long term future of the hospitals, how to meet extra demand for the services, and how the trust engages with young people and the voluntary sector. Samantha Jones, Chief Executive, said: “I would like to say thank you to everyone who joined us for our Annual General Meeting.  It’s an important event for us and an opportunity for our patients and local people to learn more about our work. “There have been many highlights over the past year, including the opening of two new wards at Watford Hospital – Bluebell and Winyard, both of which provide dedicated care for elderly patients.  We also opened a new ambulatory care unit, which enables patients to be diagnosed, treated and discharged on the same day. “We have invested an extra £9 million in improving patient safety, including spending an additional £4 million to recruit 160 new nurses. “We have performed well against the vast majority of the standards by which the Government measures hospitals, including the time it takes for people to be treated, admitted or discharged  in our A&E (95.6 per cent versus 95 per cent).  We have also seen a 20 per cent reduction in our mortality (death) rates and we have cut the number of cases of the infection C. difficile by almost half (48 per cent). “More than £16 million has been invested to upgrade our wards, clinics and other areas and £600,000 has been spent on modernising our operating theatres. “Over the last year we have assembled a completely new leadership team, including the appointment of a new Chief Nurse, Director of Finance, and most recently, Deputy Chief Executive, as well as new Non-Executive Directors.” Sam added: “It has been a challenging year and we still need to make many improvements to ensure our patients receive the best possible care.  We also face a significant financial challenge and need to do all we can to ensure we spend taxpayer’s money wisely. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff and volunteers for their hard work over the year.  They are the backbone of our organisation and we appreciate their dedication and commitment.” Another highlight of the evening was the screening of the recently launched video ‘Stamp Out Sepsis (SOS), which was produced to raise awareness among staff about the dangers of sepsis (a common and potentially life threatening condition triggered by an infection).  It has now been viewed more than 1,200 times on the trust’s YouTube channel: The 2013/14 Annual Report and Accounts are available to download on our website:  You can also view the presentations from the event and download the Quality Account via: How do you rate West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust? Email

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