Monday 5 July 2021


Welcome to This Week, my update for all colleagues where I share news about what is happening in the Trust and some personal reflections.


The nation is starting the week on a high note following England’s win against Ukraine on Saturday, and we are continuing the celebrations today as we celebrate the 73rdbirthday of the NHS.


5th July 1948 marked the first time nurses, doctors, pharmacists, dentists, opticians and hospitals were brought together as part of a single organisation with free diagnosis and treatment for all. Trafford General Hospital (then known as Park Hospital) in Manchester was the first NHS hospital and the first NHS patient was 13 year old Sylvia Diggory who had acute nephritis. In the 73 years since, the NHS has continually developed and innovated into the world-renowned organisation it is today. We have all experienced the NHS and its care personally, and each and every one of us, whether you have worked in the NHS for many years or are new, have contributed to its development and services. Thank you for helping to provide care for the people of Rotherham and surrounding area.


I’m looking forward to our celebrations today at the hospital and in our community settings as we take part in the NHS Big Tea. This morning, I will also be joining colleagues to open our new staff wellbeing garden. This garden will provide all colleagues with a calm place to relax while on breaks, away from the hustle and bustle of your departments. If you feel up to it, it also gives you the opportunity to have a small workout. If you get chance, please do come to the Big Tea event taking place in the garden and take a look around. We understand it can be difficult for community colleagues to come to the hospital site, but if you do have the opportunity, the garden is there for your use too. The wellbeing garden has been partially funded by the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity, and joins the Snowdrop Memorial Garden and the soon to be completed Woodland Walk.


One of the biggest challenges the NHS has ever faced is undoubtedly the Covid pandemic. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank you all again for your hard work and dedication. You may have seen in the news yesterday, that as part of Thank You Day and the NHS birthday, the Queen has awarded the NHS the George Cross and it is only the third time the George Cross has been given to a collective body, country or organisation , rather than an individual.


While the numbers of people in the hospital who have tested positive for Covid-19 have reduced and are remaining low, we have seen a rise in the community infection rate. This is bringing new personal challenges as we see an increase in people isolating – particularly school children. The reduction in those people with Covid requiring our care doesn’t mean all pressure has eased, as the NHS in Rotherham and across the country is seeing record numbers of people trying to get appointments and attending emergency departments. This is difficult for staff across all services – hospitals, community, GPs, and more – so please continue to look out for each other and be kind at this time.


Have a good week,



Dr Richard Jenkins

Interim Chief Executive