Today is a really significant day for the NHS. Changes come into effect that create statutory Integrated Care Systems which bring partners together to coordinate and plan services across local areas. There’s a great animation by the Kings Fund here which explains the changes in a really simple way. We play an active role in both the Surrey Heartlands and Sussex ICSs. The main thing I’m keen for you to know about the changes that come into effect today is that they present us with an enormous opportunity to make a real difference to the health of our local population. By working much closer together, we can tackle the root causes of poor health and start to reduce health inequalities in a meaningful way. This requires us to be really active partners in the two systems and to work alongside our colleagues to turn these words into the actions that will lead to better outcomes and healthier communities.  

A photo of the mayor of Reigate and Banstead joined by SSH CEO and staffOn Monday I was delighted to host a visit from Councillor Frank Kelly, the new Mayor of Reigate and Banstead to East Surrey Hospital. Councillor Kelly is a great supporter of the NHS, having enjoyed a long career in the service himself. He’s also a big advocate for our Trust and is very complimentary about the experiences he and his family have had with us over the years. That’s partly why he has chosen SASH Charity as one of his two chosen charities to support during his Mayoral term and he has some great ideas for how we could improve the Meadvale Courtyard. Indeed today he is hosting an NHS Big Tea at the Town Hall to raise money for our charity. Next week the NHS turns 74 and the Big Tea is a way for everyone to celebrate. If you’d like to run your own Big Tea for SASH Charity, there are lots of materials to support you available here.

We had an excellent board seminar this week and I wanted to thank our maternity team for their involvement. We discussed the significant work that is ongoing to ensure our maternity service remains Outstanding – it was good to talk about the progress we’re making and our next steps.

We’re proud of our pain service and the team have had some great successes recently. Last week they held their first psychology-pain multidisciplinary (MDT) clinic with Dr Renata Fialho, clinical psychologist from the psychiatry liaison service. I’m told the clinic was a great success. It aims to reduce the number of people who need to come back to hospital due to their pain. It’s great to see this MDT approach and I know the pain service is increasingly working with other specialties in this way. My thanks go to Dr Jan Rudiger, consultant in anaesthetics and pain medicine, and his colleagues for getting the clinic established. Dr Rudiger has also just had a new book published. ‘Essential notes in pain medicine’ provides a comprehensive overview of pain medicine for all healthcare professionals with an interest in the specialty, including trainees. Dr Rudiger, alongside his two co-editors, has ensured the content is mapped to the pain medicine curriculum and focused on making it accessible and easy-to-read. This is an excellent achievement and I’m sure you will join me in congratulating Dr Rudiger.

Earlier this year a number of our matrons completed a brand new leadership development course we’re offering, called the Lumina Spark programme. I’m delighted to say that we are able to offer three further cohorts this summer for ward managers, AHPs (band 7 and above) and any matrons who couldn’t attend earlier this year. It provides you with an opportunity to explore your strengths and development areas as well as help you identify how to improve your working relationships with others. You can find more details and how to apply on SASHnet.

A person wearing a medalDescription automatically generated with medium confidenceI’m pleased that a number of teams have started running star of the month awards following our launch last month. For example, congratulations to Othalee Newland who was awarded star of the month in the chemotherapy suite for her work teaching new staff safe administration of cancer treatments. Colleagues can read more on SASHnet and please share your examples with us!

This is Mr Ian Maheswaran’s last week as our chief of surgery as he is standing down at the end of his tenure. I’m very grateful to Mr Maheswaran for leading the division over the last four years – we have achieved a great deal in this time, being rated Outstanding by the CQC, introducing technological advances such as robotic surgery to benefit patients and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today I joined colleagues in the emergency department to say farewell to Estelle Rock, secretary in ED, who is moving on from SASH. Estelle has been a crucial part of the team for many years and will be greatly missed – thank you for everything, Estelle.

Finally, I was saddened to hear of the death of bowel cancer campaigner Dame Deborah James earlier this week. She leaves an incredible legacy, raising awareness and urging people to check for symptoms. She wanted her message to reach as many people as possible, so I thought I would close with her final quote. For those who didn’t see it, Dame Deborah said: “Find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope. And finally, check your poo - it could just save your life.”

Best wishes
Angela Stevenson
Chief executive