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Chief Nurse's Blog

Chief Nurse's Blog

Date of release: 2July 2021

Latest News: Ann-Marie Cannaby Blog

Let’s raise a cuppa for the #NHSBigTea and celebrate the NHS this Monday, July 5th!

The Big Tea is a national celebration of our amazing NHS staff – extraordinary people who continue to go above and beyond for us and our loved ones, and to mark the 73rd birthday of the NHS.

I will be getting involved at Walsall Heathcare Trust (WHT), while my colleagues will be doing the same at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust. 

Thanks to the fundraising and the volunteer service, Big Tea staff packs have been delivered to all areas at both Trusts. I hope you all enjoy the packs which include sachets of tea and coffee, a sweet treat, a pen and notepad and a pack of tissues were sent to all staff and volunteers.

At Walsall Manor Hospital a Big Tea party will be set up on the children’s ward (following social distancing guidelines) and play specialists have also introduced a Big Tea colouring competition for patients that will run until Friday, July 9th, with the winner receiving a super prize.  

Ward 4 have been busy arranging a tea party for their patients, complete with some lovely teapots and old fashioned crockery to get a proper afternoon tea feeling going. I am looking forward to attending both parties with Professor Steve Field CBE, our Chairman.

Throughout the morning volunteers from Walsall Project Wingman, the registered charity made up of airline crew currently furloughed or redundant, will be visiting staff in their work areas to serve them tea and biscuits.

Our Charity: NHS Big Tea banner


The community has really come together again to create WHT’s first Wellwishers café, which will run from 2.30pm-4pm on Monday in the Atrium. For this we are hugely thankful to the support of Morrisons, Tesco, Spar, the Muslim Association and a number of businesses who have helped us. Steve Field and I, alongside Morrisons Community Champions, will be serving homemade cakes, snacks, tea and coffee – and even the odd latte by special request!

Here, staff will be encouraged to find out from the Fundraising Team – including Paul Assinder, the Chair of the Trustees – about the charity, how they can get involved and how their area might benefit from funds raised. Also in the Atrium there will be staff from our Health and Wellbeing team to answer any questions, signpost to support and provide literature. 

Our wonderful community staff will be receiving their goody packs from WHT’s Kelly Geffen, Divisional Director of Nursing – Community, while Digby’s in Walsall town centre and Chuckery Café in Chuckery will be providing either a discount or a free cuppa to community colleagues, some of whom will have their favourite brew delivered by a special guest.

As for my colleagues at RWT, sadly due to the increase of COVID-19 cases in the community, this year’s RWT Charity NHS Big Tea celebration will now be held virtually. 

These measures have been decided to help keep staff, our patients and their loved ones safe.

This means the activities due to take place in the marquees outside the Emergency Department and Heart and Lung Centre at New Cross Hospital on Monday (July 5th) will not be taking place, but we are working hard to ensure virtual ones happen instead. The marquees will however still be specially decorated for the occasion and can be used by staff when taking their breaks (remembering to be socially distanced). 

It also means the special guests who were due to visit each of RWT three hospital sites are now planning to deliver their messages virtually. The special guests will still be announcing the winner of the RWT Charity Big Tea word search, as well as presenting the Outpouring of Thanks Awards, and the winners will be announced on social media (search ‘The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust Charity’ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

I hope everyone enjoys the celebrations and please remember to socially distance and wear the correct PPE when attending any of the events. 

Take care,
Ann-Marie

A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham