Royal Preston and Chorley hospitals pledge to do 'more than just medicine' as part of ambition to improve the lives of locals
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Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LTH) has made a series of pledges designed to boost the county's social and economic wellbeing - including by buying locally where possible and investing in the training and development of current and potential future employees.
The organisation has now received official recognition for its promises after being awarded Social Value Quality Mark accreditation.
LTH has set out a raft of commitments under seven different themes, which collectively aim to reduce social and health inequalities.
Amongst its specific aspirations are plans to increase expenditure with local suppliers by five percent every year from 2020 levels, offer 100 work experience opportunities a year to people hoping for a career in the NHS and provide an additional 10 apprenticeships annually for existing staff.
The trust has also set out how it intends to better support locals to overcome any barriers they may face to working at its hospitals, improve the mental and physical health of its current workforce and reduce carbon emissions via “agile working” - including by offering virtual consultations in a quarter of all outpatient clinics.
The accreditation has been conferred by the Social Value Quality Mark community interest company, with LTH having achieved the first of four possible levels. Level 1 recognises an organisation’s commitment to the social value cause - but it is only once the principles underpinning its objectives are considered to be “embedded” that a workplace would be handed the highest of the accolades.
Jonathan Wood, LTH’s deputy chief executive, said that the trust was “exceptionally proud” to be one of the first NHS bodies to take the first step on that path.
“As an anchor institution, we know that our day-to-day operations have a significant impact on the local community. Through the pledges we have made, we hope to work with our partners to address the social, economic and environmental priorities that affect our local communities, reduce the health inequalities that affect the wellbeing of our patients and work towards a fairer society.
“Achieving this award strengthens our focus and enables us to provide the very best experience for our patients and the local communities that we serve,” Mr. Wood added.
Richard Dickins, managing director of Social Value Quality Mark, claimed that “how companies treat their staff, the environment and society” was increasingly important to people seeking services.
“This award recognises Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s outstanding commitment to create, report and embed social value. We are delighted to remain their social value partner as they move through…the levels of accreditation,” he said.