Hello everyone, 

Intensive kaizen programme - gathering ideas
The team finding solutions as part of our
intensive kaizen programme

We’ve had a great start to our intensive kaizen programme this week. We’re using our SASH+ improvement methodology to get colleagues’ ideas to minimise delays for patients and then supporting them to put those ideas into practice. We’ve had dozens of ideas already focussing on prompt ambulance handovers, our discharge process and our board / ward rounds. We heard a really positive story yesterday of two patients being able to be discharged much earlier in the day because of the great teamwork on Chaldon Ward. This not only meant the two patients were able to get home sooner, it also freed up space for others who needed their beds and subsequently enabled an ambulance to reach the next person in our community needing support faster. It was a great example that minutes matter to patients across our services and beyond. Thanks to consultants Dr Veselin Nenov and Dr Shaista Nazir, ward manager Aquvina Kilbert, therapy lead Steve Yeates and their teams for embracing the work – I’m looking forward to more improvements next week! I’m grateful to everyone involved in all three of our workstreams for grasping this crucial work so quickly.  

Today a number of changes under the government’s living with COVID strategy came into effect. Please remember lateral flow tests for our staff remain free and colleagues must continue to test themselves twice a week, reporting on our PATHEKS system. This is very important in helping us reduce the spread of infection – with over 120 patients in our services with a positive COVID test, it is incumbent on us all to do our bit to protect the vulnerable people in our care. The government also announced that the national support that has enabled free car parking for staff has come to an end. We’re now considering the implications of this and will give colleagues as much notice as possible before any changes are made to our parking arrangements.

Earlier this week we opened a temporary ward at Crawley Hospital. It’s providing us with some additional capacity while we undertake some refurbishments at East Surrey. I’m very grateful to all involved in making the move happen and my thanks also go to colleagues at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust for their support. I’d like to personally thank Siobhan Melia, their chief executive, for her help with this - #OneTeam!

Paula Whittall
Paula Whittall celebrates
30 years of service

The national staff survey results were published this week. When asked if they’d recommend our organisation as a place to work, our colleagues rate us the sixth best acute trust in the country, and the joint best in the south east. We were rated above average in all nine areas and while this is good news, I am very conscious that in many areas of the survey feedback from our colleagues had declined. It’s been really tough over the last year so with my executive colleagues we’ll be doing all we can to listen to your feedback and make things better. 

Congratulations to Paula Whittall, senior nursing assistant, who is celebrating her 30th year with SASH today! Well done Paula – a brilliant milestone and we’re very grateful for your dedication. 

Sami Boutabba and his colleagues
Sami Boutabba
and colleagues

This week we said goodbye to Maria Boutabba, surgical care practitioner in our women’s and children’s health division (WACH), and her husband Sami Boutabba, healthcare assistant, who both retired. Maria originally worked as an operating department practitioner in Crawley theatres from 2008, before moving to work at East Surrey as well. She became team leader and spearheaded education in the department before joining WACH. Sami joined the portering team here over 25 years ago and more recently became a healthcare assistant for recovery. Sami’s colleagues describe him as kind and generous with a great sense of humour. We wish them both the very best. We also said farewell to Terry Young, eSASH Project Manager, who retired after 42 years in the NHS. Terry started with us in 1998 as a matron in trauma and orthopaedics, before joining the EPR Team in 2008. She’s been an excellent role model with an abundance of knowledge. I know her team will miss her wicked sense of humour and infectious laugh. 

Finally, Ramadan Mubarak to everyone observing the Islamic holy month which begins this weekend. We have shared information with colleagues on how to support patients and guidance for managers who are supporting colleagues undertaking fast. Please do take a look.

Best wishes

Angela Stevenson
Chief executive