Message from Peter Axon, Chief Executive to Combined Staff

Our Chief Executive, Peter Axon, has today sent this message to all Combined Healthcare employees

Last night’s statement from the Prime Minister confirms the country is living through an unprecedented challenge.  The NHS is at the centre of that challenge and it is both our privilege and our duty to do everything we can to care for each other, our service users and our local communities.

Over the past few weeks, managers and frontline staff across Combined have moved heaven and earth to rise to the growing situation.  We have changed our working practices, brought in new equipment, designed new operating procedures, produced a range of guidance and advice, communicated and engaged with our staff and our communities via web, digital and social media.

All of this hard work has put us in the best possible place to be able to cope with what will undoubtedly be the greatest challenge most of us will face in our working lives.

In my video message to you just a few days ago, I made a promise to you:  

  • that I, the Executive Team and the whole of the senior team across Combined would continue to work incredibly hard to support you across your various clinical and non-clinical roles; and
  • that we would absolutely make sure that information as it became available at the national level and at a regional level became immediately available to you all and we would interpret that in the most effective way that we can for Combined Healthcare.

So today, I would like to give you the following advice and the following instructions:

  • We need you to stay safe – please follow government guidance on social distancing. The sooner we all implement stringent guidance, the sooner restrictions will be lifted.
  • We need your help. For those who can work remotely, please do so. If you have a caseload, we need you to stay in touch with your patients. We need you to support them and their mental health at the current time. If you run groups, please stay in touch with those who attend. If you deliver training or courses for service users and carers, think about how you can do this remotely for them using digital technology.

If there is anything you think we can do to improve our communications to better support you at this time, please do either contact the Communications Team on , myself on . or the dedicated Covid-19 e-mail on

In summary, for those who work remotely we need you to keep our patients safe and well as best you can. We need you to work from home whether that is your normal hours or modified hours because of caring responsibilities.

Finally, there is a large cohort of our staff who deliver direct patient care and who cannot work remotely, whether this be on inpatient wards at Harplands and elsewhere, or in one of our crisis services. I would like to say a massive thank you for your commitment and your efforts to keep these services running whilst we are in the era of stringent social distancing.  I’m sure that, like me, all of the citizens across North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are hugely thankful for your efforts.