Health Minister drops in to speak to Doncaster’s nurses and doctors

“Thank you for all of your hard work” was the message from Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Jeremy Hunt, when he spoke to healthcare staff in Doncaster yesterday (17 May).

Mr Hunt, who said he had received a warm Yorkshire welcome, made a whistle-stop tour of our site at Tickhill Road, Balby, before heading off to Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospital’s (DBTH) Doncaster Royal Infirmary.  The two trusts were the 100th and 101st  respective NHS organisations visited by Secretary of Health and Social Care, after having embarked on a national tour speaking to healthcare staff about their work, the importance of patient safety and how he wants the NHS to be the safest and best healthcare system in the world.

At RDaSH, Mr Hunt spoke to around 70 mental health staff while at DBTH he addressed over 100 doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. The Cabinet Minister was accompanied by Prof Tim Kendall, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Mental Health and Prof Jo Martin, NHS England’s National Director of Pathology.

Speaking about his visit to Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Jeremy Hunt said: “This was the 100th visit I’ve made to hospitals in England to talk about patient safety and I was delighted to mark that milestone at RDaSH where I received a warm Yorkshire welcome!

“The Trust’s approach to patient safety encompasses their own staff’s wellbeing – crucial in a mental health trust where staff and patient safety are two sides of the same coin – an approach the entire NHS could learn from.”

After the visit, Kathryn Singh, Chief Executive of RDaSH, said: “It was a pleasure to host Mr Hunt’s visit to our Doncaster site during the NHS’ 70th year. It was great to be able to tell him about the excellent work our staff do day in day out to benefit our patients, how they always strive to put safety first, and if things go occasionally wrong, how we learn from those mistakes. We also explained how patients are at the heart of what we do and how we encourage them to be active in the work of our Trust.”

After speaking to staff at RDaSH, Mr Hunt departed for Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Of his visit, he said: “It was impressive to see such pioneering work being done at Doncaster and Bassetlaw encompassing both hospital and community services. They’re leading the way and even winning awards for their health and social care partnerships.

“I had an open and honest question and answer session with staff and appreciated hearing their perspective on education and workforce matters.”

Richard Parker, Chief Executive of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, added: “Echoing the words of our colleagues at RDaSH, I want to thank Mr Hunt for visiting Doncaster Royal Infirmary, taking time to speak to members of our team. Since 2013, the Trust has seen a number of improvements in patient safety and this was a fantastic opportunity to showcase this work, which in many ways mirrors the message delivered by Jeremy. Alongside our partners, we are proud of the achievements made by our staff, who, each day, provide high quality care for people in Doncaster, Bassetlaw and beyond.”

Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt is pictured centre, together with, from the left, Prof Tim Kendall, Kathryn Singh, Chief Executive of RDaSH,  Prof Jo Martin and Lawson Pater, Chairman of RDaSH.

Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt is pictured, speaking to staff within Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospital’s Lecture Theatre.