What a week!
This week started with fantastic meeting with Professor Liz Robb, Chief Executive of The Florence Nightingale Foundation. We talked for nearly 2 hours. I was so grateful for her advice on how to move our project forward.
On Tuesday, our core London team met some of our senior staff for a meeting. Many thanks to NHS London for allowing us to use one of their rooms. Very productive session. Now keen to put into practice all the issues that were discussed. I am so grateful to everyone who came and felt so proud that I am working with such an inspirational group.
That meeting was then followed by a session with Caroline Alexander, Regional Director of Nursing for the new NHS Commissioning Board for London, Trish Morris-Thompson, Chief Nurse for NHS London and Robin Plata, Programme Director at NHS London. Very productive. Liz and I are delighted to be working with them on an exciting new challenge.
From there, I crossed London to Regent's Park for a dinner organised by the NHS End of Life Programme. The following morning I spoke at their conference. It is impossible not to be moved by the fantastic work being done by their team across the UK. Special congratulations must go to Claire Henry on her Lifetime Achievement Award.
Arrived back in Stratford upon Avon late afternoon in time to prepare for a very special Kissing it Better fund-raising event. The Royal Shakespeare Company was doing a late night cabaret and had kindly offered to give us all the money they raised. It was a fantastic show. Many thanks to everyone for their generous donations.
Thursday started very early with a visit to Walsall Manor Hospital from the fantastic beauty therapists from Walsall College, under the guidance of their tutor, Kate Bennett. Then an mad dash to Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley were a team from Dudley College, led by Jill Jones, were offering similar treatments in outpatients.
Then off to a meeting with Jan Burns, Chairman of the National DIgnity Council. Such energy and enthusiasm is hard to match. Came away from our session feeling very uplifted.
Friday morning and I was back in Dudley, this time to meet Esther Stanford, who runs Dramaworkshops in Stourbridge. She has offered to bring her students to Russells Hall to perform songs, instrumentals, duologues and other short plays for patients. Members of her team will also be contributing to the hospital radio station. Everyone from the hospital was so grateful for her time, talent and enthusiasm.
Next back to Henley in Arden for a meeting with my MP Nadhim Zahawi. He always inspires me and I came away with my head spinning. So many things to think about as we move on to the next phase of our development. We are so grateful that he is our Patron.
Although the work of Kissing it Better keeps us relentlessly busy, my energy seldom wanes. The countless, wonderful community groups, who work with us across the country, do so much to brighten the lives of people in hospital. They make a massive difference to patients, relatives and staff wherever they go. I am also so grateful to everyone who has supported us in so many ways since we launched KIB.