Trust talk

Land at Thropton that may be used for housing.
Land at Thropton that may be used for housing.

Along with the Queen and 5,000 delegates, our president attended the centenary annual meeting of the WI at the Royal Albert Hall in London. After that jamboree it will be down to earth with a bump when she’s back at Thropton WI next month.

In the weeks before our June meeting members of Thropton WI travelled north to The Hirsel at Coldstream to meet up with members of Walkerburn Scottish Women’s Institute. This is part of an initiative to encourage WIs to twin with each other. We had a very pleasant day together and the weather was kind.

Members of Thropton WI baked cakes and helped with catering at a coffee morning to raise money for the relief of Nepalese people so badly affected by the earthquake. We were delighted to hear from the organisers that their various events had raised over £1,000.

Northumberland Federation of WIs organised a Reading Aloud competition and our team came joint third. Well done ladies!

The talk at our June meeting was about the Newcastle NHS Foundation Trust. Frances Blackburn, our speaker, worked her way from being a student nurse to ward sister and eventually to head of nursing and in her own words has always been a learner. She told us she takes her inspiration from the patients she’s met and the staff with whom she works.

The Newcastle NHS Foundation Trust comes from the amalgamation and closure of several scattered units. Today it comprises the Freeman Hospital, the Royal Victoria Infirmary and various community services such as walk-in centres, district nursing and school health nursing.

The Trust’s vision is to be ‘the health service for Newcastle and a leading national healthcare provider’. It plans to achieve this through quality, clinical and business strategies and with academic partnerships to explore research and innovation.

In the 2014/15 financial year the Trust had a turnover of about £968 million and recorded over 1.6 million patient contacts. It provides local, regional, national and international services which include acute and community services. It has the highest number of specialist services in the UK. It consistently delivers high quality care and value for money and has won Top Hospitals Awards for 14 years running. The Trust acknowledges that it does not always get it right and currently has a strategy to obtain feedback from patients, carers and the public and to implement improvements.

There are 9,000 Trust members, drawn from staff and the public.

Frances was warmly thanked for her very informative talk and answered a number of questions.

Thropton WI’s next meeting is on Wednesday, July 1, at 7pm in Thropton War Memorial Hall. Helene Dolder’s talk is Charwoman Mo – the thoughts of, and Dr Iona Wee Doggie on Immorality. Visitors are very welcome.