NHS: We're here if you need us
Northumbria Healthcare, along with its fellow providers in the North East, is always preparing for winter; it's very much a year-round process.
Thanks to the advanced planning, and the herculean efforts of our staff, this has meant that we rank 12th out of 133 NHS trusts in England for hitting the four-hour A&E target.
As a whole, the North East accounts for 25 per cent of the top 12 – not bad going for just eight trusts.
When we have been at our busiest staff have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of patients by prioritising those who have most need, and worked harder than ever before to ensure more patients are treated inside four hours.
Of course, none of us is complacent and we always want to do better, but we are coping.
We do ask that only people in immediate need of critical care attend A&E, with everyone else making use of alternative options, like urgent care centres or 111.
But make no mistake: if you need help we will be, and are, there for you.
Our public governors play a significant role in our planning process. They attend meetings with senior executives and are not shy at all about demanding answers.
They are equally robust when it comes to sharing the views of their residents, to the benefit of all concerned.
A final thought, we are always open to new candidates standing to be governors. Any member of the trust can stand.
For further information visit www.northumbria.nhs.uk/get-involved/join- our-our-foundation-trust/become- a-member
Executive Medical Director
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust