QA Hospital: Chief executive Penny Emerit thanks Portsmouth for support this year

This is the time of year when we all look back on the last 12 months. This has been an incredibly busy year for the NHS and we have all faced a number of challenges. We couldn’t have got through it without the incredible ongoing support you have given us at PHU and so I am starting this message with my heartfelt thanks.

By Penny Emerit
Friday, 24th December 2021, 4:55 am
Penny Emerit, chief executive at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth. Picture: PHUT
Penny Emerit, chief executive at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth. Picture: PHUT

The year started with us caring for much higher numbers of Covid positive patients than we saw in the first wave in 2020. Throughout this year we have been working hard to provide outpatients appointments, planned care, procedures and operations, some of which were postponed as a result of caring for the large numbers of patients with Covid.

There has been continual high demand on our urgent and emergency care services and we have been working with NHS and social care colleagues from across Portsmouth and south-east Hampshire to provide the right treatment in the right place.

Winter is always a busy time for the NHS and we have all been closely watching the emerging situation with the Omicron variant and how that may impact our services.

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The NHS has always planned for more patients needing care over the winter and I want to reassure you that we are preparing in the same way. There is no doubt that if numbers do rise in our community, this will inevitably have an impact on our colleagues and their families and we need to be ready for that, and the numbers of additional patients likely to require our care.

We can all play our part in helping to reduce the potential impact of rising cases of Covid.

We are supporting the Covid-19 booster campaign with the reopening of the Vaccination Hub at Queen Alexandra Hospital. Getting your booster is one of the best ways to help reduce the spread and significantly reduce the severity of Covid symptoms. Appointments are available at the QA hub through the National Booking System for everyone eligible, aged 18 and over.

You can also help by wearing a mask where required, maintaining social distancing, washing hands more regularly, reducing unnecessary contact with others and taking a lateral flow test before visiting the Hospital.

We know that spending time with loved ones at this time of year is important and if those loved ones are in hospital over the festive period you will want to see them. Our priority is to keep our patients, colleagues and visitors safe and our updated visiting guidance is in place to support that. We are encouraging virtual visiting to reduce the number of people on the hospital site and will of course be helping people to visit in person if we can.

Our teams work hard to show respect, kindness and compassion to you and your loved ones. Coming to hospital can be stressful, and it continues to be a difficult time, but please remember we are all doing our best for you and your families and to show that same kindness and respect to our colleagues.

I am proud of what we have achieved over the last year at PHU and I am sure you will join me in thanking the many teams and volunteers who keep us all going.

And thank you to all of you who live in our community for your continued support. It means so much to us.

I wish you all a Happy Christmas and New Year.

Penny Emerit

Chief executive

Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust