Sara's end of year message for staff

Our Chief Executive Dr Sara Munro’s end of year message for Trust staff.

Dr Sara Munro looking festive


Another strange and turbulent year has nearly gone by and I wanted to sign off with a short message to you all before Christmas. For those staff who don’t have regular access to email, I’d be grateful if colleagues could share this with them.

Hopefully, you all received my card in the post – just a little personal token of thanks on behalf of myself and the exec team. It’s the least we can do when we can’t get out and see people across our services in person as we’d normally like to. And you should all have received a £50 shopping voucher in your inboxes from our partners at Edenred – if you missed it the email is titled “A big LYPFT thank you for your continued hard work”.

Many thanks to all those who joined our Festive Zoom on 1 December. If you missed it, you can watch it again here:

We celebrated our achievements and reasons to be proud in numbers and in words. We also remembered those we have lost this year, and we’ve endured more heart-breaking moments that colleagues have dealt with admirably.

What really touched me were the shout-outs that people were giving each other – it was like seeing a room full of virtual high fives! Folks have continued to share the love on our LYPFT Together Facebook group – if you’re on Facebook you’re welcome to get involved!

Whatever your plans over the festive season, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, please take some time to pause, reflect and recharge. This year has been tough. We have asked a lot of you, and you have all made a huge difference to the thousands of people we care for.

Not only are we still grappling with Covid and all that it throws at us (infection control measures, working from home, PPE, testing, vaccinations, and now Omicron!), but we have also been trying to reset, recover and improve our services. There’s so much to celebrate and be proud of. And whilst we might not feel like we’ve achieved as much as we’d want to sometimes, please go easy on yourselves. We are only human and not miracle workers (although, ‘tis the season of miracles after all!).

As a Trust, we’ve got big plans. I set out earlier this year that our Trust Board priorities are improving our clinical services, delivering our people plan, and transforming our estates – which includes our sustainability ambitions and our digital capabilities. Goodness knows we’ve all had to learn a thing or two about digital technology over the last two years.

I’m personally involved in our equality, diversity, and inclusion work – which is central to improving the culture of LYPFT. My ambition is for us to be known as an inclusive Trust, celebrating diversity in all its forms and ensuring that all voices are heard. In 2021 we did this in several ways including our workforce race equality network (WREN) blogs, which you can read on our website.

If there is one thing I can be sure that 2022 will bring, it’s more partnership and collaborative working. Clinical Commissioning Groups will re-emerge as ‘place-based partnerships’, and we’re already started working with partners on transforming community mental health services in Leeds – more on that in the new year. Integrated Care Systems will take control of health and care governance on a more regional footprint. Provider Collaboratives (such as forensics, young people’s services and eating disorders) will grow and develop. I blogged about this in November.

Until then, please ensure you take a break to relax, recharge and enjoy yourselves, remembering that we must try and stay safe. Covid is a constant and, unfortunately, now a growing threat once again.

For all those working over the Christmas and New Year holidays, we are truly grateful for your dedication and sacrifices.

And in true Christmas style, I will leave with a song. Not from me, fortunately, but from our talented staff choir.