Working with our partners to leave a lasting legacy

Dame Jackie Daniel, CEO, Newcastle Hospitals

2020 has been defined by covid-19 but we need to think about the future, and the legacy we want to create following the pandemic.

It’s clear that the North East has been hard hit by coronavirus and given the levels of deprivation experienced by our population that’s not a surprise. It’s another stark example of the health inequalities we see every day.

As one of the ‘anchor’ organisations for the North East we are rightly proud of our ‘outstanding’ services and high standards that we are able to provide, but we also know that our local population continues to have some of the worst public health outcomes in the UK.

Sadly, local people die earlier than they should and have more years of life lost to disability than in more affluent parts of the UK. This has to change.

Right now we know that the north has been hit hard. In November, the Northern Health Science Alliance, NIHR Applied Research Collaborations and the NIHR School of Public Health Research report COVID-19 and the Northern Powerhouse: Tackling Health Inequalities for UK Health and Productivity looked at the impact of COVID-19 on the health and economic inequalities between the Northern Powerhouse and the rest of England.

It found the pandemic hit the North harder and more deeply than other parts of the country and argued that mitigating measures must be put in place to stop inequalities rising further and faster. We wholeheartedly support those recommendations.

In Newcastle, we understand that the major institutions have a responsibility to do everything we can to support our population – not just the health services that we provide, but more broadly to improve the health, wealth and wellbeing of everyone who lives and works in the city, and that has never been more important.

We can do that by being a good employer of our 15,000 staff. We can support patients who come into contact with us for acute care to make healthier choices and create healthier lifestyles. We can also make sure that we buy as many of our supplies locally so that the local economy benefits.

Most importantly, we can work with our partners in the city through Collaborative Newcastle. Together, we can make the best use of resources we have locally to make the biggest impact, and we can amplify the voice of the North East to national decision makers so that we can begin to turn the corner and maximize prosperity in our city.

I’m looking forward to the next steps in our journey.

Dame Jackie Daniel, CEO, Newcastle Hospitals


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