With Easter fast approaching, please make sure that you order any of your repeat prescriptions in good time for the bank holiday weekend.

Some pharmacies and GP practices are closed over the bank holiday weekend, so we would remind you to check whether you have your required supply of prescribed medication, saving yourself the worry of possibly not getting what you need on time.

We would also remind you to access the right service for your healthcare need over Easter too.

Call NHS 111 for urgent medical advice, go online here or use your local walk-in Minor Injury Unit. This service is available 24 hours a day, including bank holidays, and after answering a few questions you will be directed to the best place to get the medical help and advice you need.

This will ensure that A&E and 999 ambulance services are available for those who really need them. Always call 999 for life-threatening emergencies such as a stroke or heart attack.

Our Maternity Services are making strong progress on the delivery of our 210 actions from the first and final Ockenden Reports, putting us ahead of our delivery plan.

Alongside this, other improvement work is being continued whilst teams also provide personalised care for the thousands of women and families who choose to have their babies at our Trust every year.

Improvements include improved management of birth options for women and associated risk management, including the introduction of birth option clinics and review of birthing plans/preferences at every contact with a named consultant for ‘high risk’ pregnancies.

The Trust has invested in a further eight consultant obstetricians, which enables on-site consultant obstetrician cover 24/7, based on the Delivery Suite. We remain one of only a few Trusts in the country to have this level of staffing.

We also now have two specialist fetal monitoring lead midwives alongside a lead consultant to focus and champion best practice in fetal monitoring. There is more to do, but we are continually improving care for women and their families, putting them at the heart of the care we provide.

It is great to see that patients in our Intensive Therapy Units (ITU) at both hospital sites are receiving visits from therapy dogs to help boost their health and wellbeing.

We are working in partnership with national charity Pets As Therapy (PAT) on the initiative which sees volunteers bringing their friendly pets onto wards.

Staying in hospital can be a daunting, but for many people the companionship of an animal is a welcome distraction and a great source of comfort.

We know that the benefits of therapy dogs are not just limited to the patients; they extend to family members and staff too. It is wonderful to see the impact the therapy dogs have on our patients, visitors and colleagues.

I want to thank our fantastic PAT volunteers and their four-legged friends for the difference they are making.