With restrictions surrounding Covid-19 affecting all walks of life, it was inevitable that the Royal would have to find a different way of holding the Annual Members Meeting in public.

More than 100 people responded to our invitation to hold the meeting on YouTube Live, clicking on the link we sent them to find out more about how the Trust has responded to Covid-19 and the challenges, actions and financial situation from April 2019 to March 2020.

The marketplace stalls and representatives from our different divisions and departments were replaced with a number of short videos that provided an intriguing and informative insight behind the scenes of our Covid-19 response…and it’s available for you to watch on catch up!

Behind the scenes videos

The videos, eight in total, featured Matron Maxine Hardy detailing how our critical care and intensive therapy units operated whilst keeping patients with a positive Covid diagnosis separate from those who were Covid-free. Emergency Department Matron Kaye Smedley also spoke about keeping patients separate, as well as keeping such a busy and free-flowing department safe, both for patients and staff.

Deputy Head of Nursing and Midwifery, Julie Mycock, talked about how the Birth Centre adapted to the changing situation, Associate Director of Strategy and Improvement Maria Riley explained how our outpatient appointments changed by introducing telephone and video clinics to keep services running whilst Matron Clare Davies talked about how they restored Endoscopy services safely.

We also featured our Royal Primary Care response with GP Ruth Bentley explaining how they made surgeries safe and appointments accessible, Matron Tracy Forester spoke about how she helped to set up our first Covid ward and Clinical Research Nurse Vittoria Sorice detailed how our incredible research team were at the forefront of the national response to find an effective treatment.

Reassurance – We’re ‘Here to Help You’

All of these videos were intended to give you an overall picture of how our clinical services continued to operate. There was a further video, featuring Acting Chief Nurse Sarah Ward, who spoke about how we have made the hospital safe and encouraging people to use our services if they need them. We were heavily involved in the ‘Here to Help You’ campaign and continue to urge anyone with a health problem that would normally cause them to visit our hospital or their GP to do so and not to ignore any symptoms that are causing concern. We will keep you safe.

These videos were interspersed with a number of presentations from Chief Executive Angie Smithson and Chair Helen Phillips who also talked about our procurement effort (did you know that we only ran out of one item of PPE for just two hours since the pandemic began?), our domestic teams who tirelessly keep the hospital clean to reduce the risk of transmission, our Estates teams who transformed and reshaped our services to help keep Covid and non-Covid patients separate and of course IT who kept us all connected.

Building on Good Relationships

Helen and Angie spoke at length about how we need to build on the good relationships with the community by talking to them about what changes we need to keep and what needs to change back. They talked about how we have worked together with our health partners across Derbyshire, how we’re all joining forces to plan for Winter and how our community services are working together.

They also touched on our financial situation and investments in resources, how we have changed our patient menus, the work of our Improvement Academy in encouraging innovation and creative working. There’s future planning including redeveloping our Emergency Department, some of our achievements including the Investors in Volunteers kite mark, big conversations that took place surrounding smoking and much more.

We encouraged our membership to submit any questions that they had ahead of the evening. The final 20 minutes were given over to Angie and Helen to answer those questions in depth that covered a range of subjects including our Covid response, smoking, our role within Joined Up Care Derbyshire and how we intend to continue keeping our membership informed.

You can view the whole AMM again to watch the videos, see Helen and Angie’s presentations and take in the presentation slides to get a greater overall picture of the evening. It’s only an hour long, it’s subtitled, signed and you can access it by clicking here.

We hope you find it interesting and informative.