We have welcomed 10 internationally-trained midwives to our Trust who are a fantastic addition to maternity services.

They bring a more diverse element to our workforce as well as being more representative of our local communities.

Each midwife has been through an extensive induction and training period to equip them for practice in the UK.

They are currently working under clinical supervision, without being counted as part of the staffing required for safe care, to allow them to gain knowledge and clinical expertise in a safe, supported environment.

We have also made a commitment as a Trust to recruit a further two midwives from overseas each year to be more representative of our local communities.

The 10 midwives are from Zambia, Ghana and Nigeria.

I would also like to say we are very proud of Heather Rushworth, Senior Practice Education Facilitator (PEF) for Preceptorship, and the rest of the Non-medical Education Team for being awarded a prestigious charter mark for the Trust’s Preceptorship Programme.

Preceptorship programmes welcome and integrate newly registered professionals into their new team and place of work. It helps these professionals translate their knowledge into everyday practice and helps individuals, teams and our Trust to grow a strong, confident and skilled workforce which will ultimately benefit our patients.

The charter mark is a fantastic achievement and the Trust is the only one in the local area to receive the charter mark for the programme, which is made up of a series of core study days focusing on topics such as leadership, resilience, quality and safety and career development.

We are one of the only Trusts regionally who do combined preceptorship for nurses, midwives and Allied Health Professions (AHPs), and one of the advantages of our professionals coming together is that they understand each other’s roles, and can learn from each other, which will not only benefit the areas they work in but more importantly our patients.

Last week, I urged you to take any precautions that you can to protect yourselves and others from measles as we had seen a rise in the cases of the highly infectious viral illness in our communities.

Measles 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/). 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.

Congratulations to Nigel Lee, Director of Strategy and Partnerships at the Trust, and his son Flight Lieutenant Tom Lee who reached the summit of Africa’s highest peak Mount Kilimanjaro.

They braved thunderstorms, sleet and altitude sickness to reach the summit in six days to raise money for the cancer fund of SaTH charity and the RAF Benevolent Fund.

We would like to thank Nigel and Tom for this amazing feat and raising the funds which will benefit our patients and their families.

If you would like to donate, there is still time via their Just Giving page – https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/NigelandTomNHSandRAF