STHK 30th Annual General Meeting (AGM)
This AGM was broadcast on 17th September 2021.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Trust is unable to hold the meeting in public.
Instead, Richard Fraser, Chairman and Ann Marr OBE, Chief Executive along with members of the Executive Team have taken part in a special programme to review the year 2020/21.
The Trust welcomed questions from the public prior to the filming of the AGM, these have been answered as part of the programme.
The agenda includes information relating to 2020/2021 including:
- activity, quality, performance and people
- the Trust's response to the Covid-19 pandemic
- priorities for the year ahead
- questions from the public.
Questions from the Public
We have received three written questions from members of the public.
- Question 1 - A&E Waiting Times
Question one is about A&E waiting times. The member of the public asked why some patients are waiting over 10 hours to be seen in the department.
Our response is…
“As with all hospitals across the country, we have been experiencing extremely high levels of attendances to the A&E Department.
Whiston Hospital’s A&E Department remains the busiest in Cheshire and Merseyside, and activity levels even during the summer months have far exceeded that which we would normally see even at the peak of winter. Unfortunately, this can lead to unavoidable delays for those attending with less serious conditions, with patients treated in order of clinical priority. Our staff are working extremely hard to see and treat patients in a safe and timely manner.”
- Question 2 - Agency Staff on Wards
Question two is regarding the increased use of agency staff on wards. The gentleman’s friend was a patient in Whiston recently and was told that staff morale was low due to current pressures.
Our response is….
“The Trust and its staff have experienced a long period of extreme pressure, both during the pandemic and as a result of unprecedented levels of emergency activity in its aftermath.
It has been a difficult period for everyone working across the NHS, and our staff continue to work tirelessly, caring for all our patients.
The health and wellbeing of our staff has been one of our top priorities throughout the pandemic and will remain so going forward. To assist staff through this difficult period, within the Trust there is a wealth of wellbeing services available. Our staff Wellbeing Hub gives direct access to everything from counselling and physiotherapy services, to assistance with personal bereavement or cultural and spiritual needs.
As with the rest of the population, it has been necessary for staff to isolate through periods of illness or when in contact with positive COVID-19 cases in the community. This has had an unavoidable impact on staff absence levels and in order to continue to provide critical services, it has been necessary to increase the number of agency staff used in some areas. As levels of infection rates reduce in the community, we anticipate the requirement for agency staff will decrease.”
- Question 3 - Backlog caused by Pandemic
Question three asked how the Trust is managing the backlog of operations that had to be cancelled at the beginning of the pandemic.
Our response is…
“Despite the unprecedented pressures of the pandemic, the Trust was able to continue with all urgent elective activity and cancer care throughout. This meant that those with the most serious conditions continued to receive the care they needed in a safe and timely manner, with the Trust currently meeting both the 31-day and 62-day cancer treatment targets.
Whilst non-urgent elective activity was unfortunately suspended during the pandemic, the Trust was one of the first organisations regionally to recommence elective operations following the peak of the pandemic.
Between April and August of this year, STHK has achieved 93% of pre-COVID-19 activity levels, whilst continuing to maintain effective infection prevention and control measures across all its sites. The Trust continues to treat elective patients in order of clinical priority.”
Please find below a copy of our 2019/20 video, broadcast on 28th September 2020.