A North East health leader has issued a rallying cry to communities and businesses across the Tees Valley, saying ‘there is more that unites us, than divides us’.
Julie Gillon, Chief Executive for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust spoke about her ambitions to ensure that the Tees Valley is ‘levelled up’ to ‘ensure a future befitting to the populations that live here’.
Speaking about her time working in the Tees Valley she said ‘I have been a part of this community for over 20 years. I have seen some significant change, and the drive of the staff, patients and partners we work with to be more aspirant for the region is unwavering’.
Ms Gillon, recently appointed to the role of Senior Responsible Officer for the North East and North Cumbria Health Inequalities Advisory Board spoke of her ambitions for the Tees Valley, and how working together will make ‘changing our narrative’ a faster, more impactful process.
‘Speaking as the Chief Executive of one of the best performing trusts, not only in the region, but across the country – I can wholeheartedly say, it is owing to solid collaborative partnerships with neighbouring trusts, local authorities, specialist agencies and other key partners that we are able to deliver a high standard of care to our patients and their families’.
The Trust, she says – with main hospital sites in Stockton and Hartlepool, as well as a community hospital in Peterlee and a host of other community bases is at the ‘beating heart of our towns and villages’.
Our interdependencies are critical to our success
Recent investments and partnerships formed with Hartlepool College of Further Education and Hartlepool Borough Council to create a ‘health and care’ education hub at University Hospital of Hartlepool as part of the government’s Towns Fund Deal, she says, is one of the key steps to moving the area forward. ‘By working in collaboration, we are able to ‘future-proof’ our hospitals, our pathways and in this instance – our workforce of tomorrow. By working in partnership with two of the regions key enablers – our interdependencies are critical to our successes’.
It doesn’t stop there, she adds. ‘The COVID-19 pandemic, of course impacted health and care provision like at no other time in history. Nevertheless, we must move forward, and we must learn lessons about collaboration that can affect positive change forever.
Our contribution to research and development during the height of the pandemic was unrivalled – as part of the Durham Tees Valley Alliance, working with our colleagues at South Tees and Darlington and Country Durham – we shone a light on the North East. It was this partnership, alongside our private sector colleagues at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in Billingham that made the Tees ‘world leading’ once again.
It is these partnerships she says, that will lead the Tees Valley into a future focused on ‘levelling up’.
‘I could not be prouder to work in Teesside – from the current boom in digital ambitions in Middlesbrough, to our local university being critically acclaimed year on year for outstanding education provision. In working together, across health, education, economy, housing, enterprise and so much more – we can create a movement that will see Teesside become a ‘destination choice’ for those who were born here, and those who want to come and contribute to our region, if we all stand together’.