We have seen a rise in the cases of measles in our communities and are urging you all to take all the precautions that you can to protect yourselves and others.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness – it can affect anyone but is most common in children. It spreads very easily among those who are unvaccinated and can be a very unpleasant illness.

With some children, it can be very serious and lead to hospitalisation – and in rare cases tragically can cause death.

Vaccines are our best line of defence against diseases like measles and help stop outbreaks occurring in the community.

Please make sure your children are up to date with their two measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines doses. It is never too late to catch up. The MMR vaccine is free on the NHS, whatever your age. If anyone has missed one or both doses of the MMR vaccine, contact your GP practice to book an appointment.

Information and advice on measles is on the NHS website (www.nhs.uk/conditions/measles/). This includes advice to parents and carers to check if their child has measles, including photos of the measles rash.

Anyone with symptoms of measles is advised to stay at home and phone their GP or NHS 111 for advice, rather than visiting a GPs’ surgery or an Emergency Department, to prevent the illness spreading further.

We have also seen an increase in the number of cases of norovirus, which brings on diarrhoea and vomiting, and other respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19, flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

If you are visiting our hospitals, could I please remind you to help keep our patients and colleagues safe by: Always cleaning your hands using soap and water or alcohol hand gel before and after contact with a patient; considering wearing a face mask to protect yourself and others when visiting our Emergency Departments (ED); and not visiting if you have flu-like symptoms (cough, fever, cold), if you know you have measles, COVID-19 or flu, or any

other infections and diarrhoea and/or vomiting within the last two days.

Next week is National Apprentice Week (5-11 February) and we will be shining the spotlight on some of our fantastic apprentices.

The Week celebrates and raises awareness about the diverse and wide variety of apprenticeship opportunities that are available at our Trust and the rest of the NHS.

SaTH currently has 183 employees on apprenticeship programmes across a range of apprenticeships including Engineering, Leadership & Management, Pharmacy Technician,  Diagnostic and Therapeutic Radiographer and Nursing Associate.

For further information about apprenticeships at the Trust please visit www.jobs.sath.nhs.uk/find-job/apprenticeships or call Judith Tudor, Talent and Succession Manager, on 01952 641222 ext 2956 (email: judithc.tudor@nhs.net).

Our Trust will also have representatives at the ‘All about Apprentices’ event at Shrewsbury Town Football Club on Tuesday 6 February from 2pm and 7pm,

To reserve your free spot at this event, visit www.shropshireapprenticeships.co.uk

They will also be at the Telford Skills Show on Thursday 14 March at Telford International Centre, from 11.30am-7pm.

Finally, you still have time to give us your views in a survey on how you would like to connect with our hospitals.

Our Community Engagement team is running a survey, which closes on Friday 16 February. The survey is available here: https://bit.ly/CSPR01 .

If you would like more information about how to get involved with our hospitals, please email the team by emailing sath.engagement@nhs.net or calling 01743 492256.