Leadership message from Simon King

Transcript from Simon King, Head of Operations Beds & Luton 18th June 2020 

Hi, I’m Simon, I’m Head of Operations for Beds and Luton, and also for PTS in Beds, Herts and West Essex.

First of all, I just wanted to thank you for the outstanding care and service that you are delivering for our patients in PTS and A&E at the moment. Thank you for continuing to contribute to our levels of cover, the high quality of care and the response times that we are delivering to those people. It really never has been better. But we are determined to do everything we can to maintain that moving forward, so we would love it if you would keep working with us on that.

It is important to remember that we are in the people business, aren’t we? Whether it’s the people in the community or your friends and colleagues, and in that context, I wanted to talk about two diseases that we are battling at the moment. The first of those is racism, and the second is Covid-19.

In terms of racism, I think there are a couple of things that we can do to help one another, the people that we know. So, first of all, some of the people that I have been talking to are saying to me, some of them, that they are feeling a little bit isolated, if they are in the BAME community. And I wonder whether each of us could just think about the people that we know in the BAME community, whether they are colleagues or friends, and just take a moment to contact them, it might be a face to face chat, or a little message. Just to let them know that you are thinking about them, and that you care about them, and offer them any support that you could give. I know from the conversations that I’ve had with a few people recently, that some of them, at least, would really value that.

Secondly, we should be leaders in not accepting unacceptable behaviour. So, I just wanted us to challenge ourselves. If you do see or hear something that just isn’t right, that just is not consistent with our Trust values, and in this context, is just not respectful to the BAME community, then we need to call that out. Now, of course, we need to do that in line with the Trust values, and in a supportive way. But let’s not just let that go. Let’s be leaders in making that difference with the people that we know.

So that was the first disease, racism. The other one that you will have heard us talk about many times over the last few months, Covid-19. I know it has been really tough out there, and you’ve been doing a really great job with some very complex and difficult incidents that you’ve been attending. I know much of that has been very emotive and at the same time as all that, having to do it in PPE, has not been an easy task. So, I want to thank you again for everything that you are continuing to do in this difficult environment.

But can I also ask you please, that whilst you’re doing that, please can you make sure that we take responsibility for ourselves in terms of managing the spread of the infection as best as we can. So that does mean, absolutely, us being leaders again, in infection control, in washing our hands, in checking our temperatures, in social distancing, and all those things.

You may well know that in Bedford, Bedford has the highest rate of infection in the East currently. Luton previously had the highest rate. So, we are in an area where, if anything, we need to be even more careful than in other places. Just recently, we’ve had a couple of incidents with our own staff, with a number of cases of infection in three places in Bedfordshire. So, please, be acutely aware that your actions make a difference.

So, thank you for everything that you are doing. Please look out for our BAME colleagues. And if you are one of that community, if there is anything we can do, please come, and ask me or anyone else. And please remember that we need to be leaders. Not only in the way that we response to out BAME colleagues, but in the way that we manage the spread of infection of Covid-19.

Thank you for everything that you are doing and take care.


Published 18th June 2020

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