We are always looking at ways to improve the care that we provide to our communities and we have now created a dedicated medical floor at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

This includes a new medical assessment area where patients will be able to receive a diagnosis, observation, consultation, treatment and rehabilitation services, reducing the need for hospital admission.

The acute medical floor was opened in December and we have now seen more than 1,000 patients in that area – these are patients who would have been seen in our Emergency Department (ED).

By patients going to the acute medical floor, this will help to ease pressure on ED and improve flow through our hospital.

It is good to share this positive news with you and earlier this week I was delighted to join our Acting Chief Operating Officer Sara Biffen and other colleagues to show media around the impressive acute medical floor.

Thank you to all my colleagues who have worked so hard on creating the acute medical floor which will help to ensure that our patients get the right service, first time.

We are always looking for motivated people to join us at our Trust and one fantastic scheme is our Volunteer to Career Programme.

Andrew James, the Trust’s Charity Programme Manager, was last year successful in securing £25,000 from Health Education England to expand our Volunteer to Career programme – we were one of only 10 Trusts who were successful across the country.

The programme is run by Helpforce, which aims to help talented and motivated people into NHS careers via volunteer roles. It helps people from the local community who want a career with the NHS, and it helps NHS Trusts with their workforce strategies.

At our Trust, we are looking at putting up to 25 volunteers into volunteering roles in midwifery. Our participation in this initiative started at the end of January, with the aim of getting the new volunteers into position by April.

Helpforce will help us to evaluate the programme from both ours and the volunteers’ perspective, with the overall aim of eventually rolling this out to other areas such as the Plaster Room, for instance.

It is a great initiative and is one of a number to create sustainable employment pipelines into the organisation.

As part of the programme, the volunteers will receive bespoke sessions on interview skills, completing a successful application and CV, as well as writing a great supporting statement, all to encourage them on the next stage of their journey to becoming part of SaTH and the NHS, as a whole.

If you are interested in joining the programme, visit our website: www.sath.nhs.uk/working-with-us/volunteering/volunteer-to-career-programme.

This week, I was presented with nearly £12,000 for air filters by The League of Friends of the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (LoF of RSH)

Thanks to the kind donations, the LoF shop volunteers and fundraising event days, the LoF funded four air filters.

The portable air filters have been successful in preventing further outbreaks of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections and are already in use.

As well as the funding from the LoF, we also bought four additional air filters for Princess Royal Hospital in Telford. Inivos Ltd, the company which supplies the filters, also donated two machines – one for each hospital site.

Once again, thank you to all those who make such generous donations and the LoF of RSH for all that they do for our Trust.