While Wendy Reid, our Interim Chief Executive, is away it falls to me to guest write her weekly message from Health Education England.
Before I go any further, I want to acknowledge the upsurge in COVID-19 cases across the country, with local measures impacting on many communities and health and care systems. This reinforces our need to be vigilant at work and at home and do nothing to put extra pressure on NHS services or increase the risks for ourselves or our colleagues. We are part of the response and will play our part, we are ready to act again and will bring you further COVID-19 updates, where we’ll look at what it means to learners in education and training, in what is a fast-developing situation.
However, I make no apology for focusing on our programme to make HEE the Best Place to Work, it’s a Board priority and we have engaged colleagues across HEE in how we are going to deliver this. Especially at such a challenging time it is essential to focus on our people, their health and wellbeing and the support they need to better support learners and the NHS in ensuring the best outcomes for patients today and tomorrow.
Navina Evans will be front and centre of this work when she joins HEE as our new Chief Executive on the 1st October 2020. I can think of no better way of welcoming her in October than our month long programme around improving how we work; our diversity and inclusion; the voice of our people; our values and behaviours; and our commitment to patients and the public by promoting Freedom to Speak Up. Events will take place to celebrate both Black History and Freedom to Speak Up Months; Values Week; and, the subject of this message, our Best Place to Work programme.
2020 has been an unusual year so far to say the least and despite the many ongoing challenges in battling COVID-19; supporting the NHS, our students and trainees; and working in new and different ways we are still prioritising this aspiration and commitment to the NHS People Promise. That is the HEE and NHS, I want to work in, you are the colleagues I want to work with, and I am sure it is the HEE Navina wants to lead as part of the NHS.