Sheena's blog - In the face of adversity

07 June 2017

This is my first blog since the terrible atrocity that happened in Manchester, and of course the equally appalling incident in London over the weekend. I know I speak on behalf of everyone at CWP when I offer sincere condolences, love and support to all those caught up in such unimaginable horror.

In times of adversity, our strength and resolve are pushed to the limits. Despite the terrible scenes we’ve seen unfold in recent weeks, the courageous response from our health and security services has been nothing short of miraculous: a real reminder of people’s collective determination to care for each other, even during the toughest of times.

Last Sunday I took part in the Manchester 10k, joining 40,000 runners and tens of thousands more spectators. The day was, of course, an emotional one, but the overwhelming spirit of togetherness, freedom and hope will live long in my memory.

We understand that the effects of such events are not limited to just the incident itself, and emotionally it will be felt by survivors, bereaved families, friends, emergency services, health care workers and the wider general public. We have therefore published NHS England’s Mental Wellbeing Guidance on our website, which includes information about common reactions to traumatic events and ways to access further support.

Since my last blog we have also experienced a number of technical difficulties linked to the recent cyber-attack that hit the wider NHS. At a time when we could have wilted, the resolve shown by colleagues to overcome these obstacles was inspirational. This was seen throughout CWP – from our staff on the frontline to all those who support them - and I’d like to thank everyone for their collective effort and commitment to preventing direct patient care from being affected. We rose to the challenge and proved yet again why we’re rated as ‘Outstanding for Care’.

I’d particularly like to thank our IT and Emergency Planning teams for their composure and leadership as the incident unfolded. Their expert guidance led us through an unprecedented situation and I’m confident that the learning we can take from it will make us all the stronger in the long run.

In challenging times it’s important to reflect on the positive impact we have on people’s lives every day. For me, a fantastic opportunity to do just this is through our Going the Extra Mile Awards. Recently, I’ve celebrated with winners Justyna Olejniczak from Beech Ward, Karon Crocombe from the Criminal Justice Mental Health Liaison team and Janice Stevenson from the West Physical Health service, who were all nominated by their colleagues for the incredible difference they have made by demonstrating so effectively their commitment to our trust values of the 6Cs. Congratulations to all!

I know recent events have left many of us feeling vulnerable to occurrences outside our control. In spite of this, the overwhelming response of togetherness and friendship has truly captured the imagination - both within CWP and wider. I’m so proud to work for an organisation that has this at its heart.

Best wishes,

Sheena

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