STAFF have been the focus at Andover War Memorial Hospital this week.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs hospitals in Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester, is celebrating the NHS’ 70th birthday by hosting a Staff Focus Week.

The week consists of activities dedicated to celebrating, thanking and recognising staff for all for the contributions they make to supporting patients, visitors and colleagues.

The Staff Focus Week started on Monday with It’s Time to Talk – a conference for trust staff to highlight the importance of looking after emotional and mental health, to draw links between staff wellbeing and capacity to deliver compassionate care and to chip away at the stigma surrounding emotional and mental health.

Over 100 members of staff came together to take part in workshops with GP and tv presenter Dr Hilary Jones delivering the opening address of the conference.

Dr Jones said: “I’m delighted to be involved in this conference at my previous GP stomping ground and to support all the brilliant work Hampshire Hospitals is doing. With two out of every five GP consultations now concerned with mental health issues it is more vital than ever that we raise awareness of, provide help for and further destigmatise the psychological problems of modern life.”

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals, added: “Hosting this conference is incredibly important and is just one of the ways we support our staff at the Trust, both professionally and personally. We are committed to continuing these conversations throughout the year, and are thrilled to welcome Dr Hilary Jones and others to our conference to help start this conversation with our staff.

“Our Staff Focus Week is a great way to recognise, thank and celebrate not only our wonderful staff, but the wider National Health Service, and I’m pleased to see so many members of our team getting involved.”