We are always looking at ways to improve the care we give our patients and the latest fantastic news that our Trust has secured £24 million in total to create a purpose-built planned care hub is part of that journey.

Work has started on the new hub which will provide more theatres and recovery beds dedicated to day case surgery. The hub at Princess Royal Hospital in Telford will increase the number of same day operations that can take place – and enable us to provide services all year round.

This is brilliant news for our patients across the whole of the county and will reduce the time that they are waiting for operations. Patients will benefit from fewer cancellations and delays for treatment, shorter waiting times and a much-improved experience.

The hub is expected to start taking patients next summer and is a key part of long-term plans to deliver improvements in care for all the population and support two thriving hospital sites.

The planned care hub is fully aligned with the Hospitals Transformation Programme (HTP), which will see the Telford hospital site specialise in planned care and the Shrewsbury hospital site specialise in emergency care, with both sites providing 24/7 urgent care services (delivered through an A&E Local model in Telford).

We have also had the great news that we have received a grant worth over £86,000 so that we can provide more volunteering opportunities.

Volunteers play such a valuable role at our hospitals and make such a difference to us all, so the grant from the new Volunteering Futures Fund – part of NHS Charities Together, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), is a major boost.

We will use the funds to extend our young volunteer scheme for 16-18 year olds; this includes a 15-month programme which will focus on, although not entirely, recruiting younger volunteers from underrepresented communities across our county and Powys.

As part of this, our Trust wants to engage with schools, colleges, charities, community groups and individuals for suggestions on how it can create a range of accessible volunteering opportunities for young people, which will support them in their aspirations, whilst also improving patient experience.

For more information about the project, or the volunteering opportunities available at SaTH, please contact sath.volunteers@nhs.net or visit www.sath.nhs.uk/working-with-us/volunteering/

This week we are celebrating the huge contribution my colleagues make to the Trust during Our Annual Recognition Week. We have been celebrating long service, volunteers and learning and education throughout the week. We will also be recognising the contribution of our military colleagues on Remembrance Day on Friday.

It has been incredible to hear about all the great work at our Trust. Our Celebratory Awards will take place next week when we get to find out the winners of our staff awards and also the Public Recognition Award (in partnership with the Shropshire Star) who was picked by yourselves.

Congratulations too to my colleague Helen Coleman, Lead Nurse for Education and Quality at our Trust, who has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship from Glyndwr Wrexham University for her contribution and services to nursing. She was presented with her award at a graduation ceremony last week.

Helen’s career has spanned over 46 years and she epitomises the fundamental qualities of nursing – care and compassion. Nurse education has always been central to her role.

Well done to Helen for receiving such an amazing honour and it is so richly deserved.