Ahead of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend, I wanted to say thank you to all of you who will be working to keep our services going over the next four days. While much of the country will be celebrating and relaxing with friends and family, we’ll have colleagues making sure patients get the care they need. We need to maintain a relentless focus on providing safe care every day and night of the year, so I am grateful to everyone for your efforts in doing this over the next four days and beyond.
Working together with family, friends and carers is a crucial part of our safety agenda. That’s why I was pleased that this week we made further changes to our visiting guidance, making it easier for people to spend more time with patients in our care. We’ll of course keep this guidance under review and make changes should we need to. You can read our latest rules here.
We’ve been doing lots of work to strengthen how we support carers. Next week is carers week and to mark the occasion we will be launching a new carers passport which now includes an identification badge as well as enhanced benefits. Colleagues should issue patients who have an unpaid carer with a passport as it offers them a range of support and benefits while they continue to help their loved one during a hospital stay. The carers team will be visiting departments on Monday to distribute the new passports. There will be a marketplace in the atrium at East Surrey Hospital on Friday 10 June from 10am to 2pm where there will be a number of external providers offering advice and information. Don’t forget we already have a staff carers passport that colleagues can use to help make sure they’re getting the right support for their responsibilities. My thanks to Icona Miles and Lois Curtis for their work to mobilise our carers strategy as part of a dedicated role they’ve been undertaking. They’ve spent time with our teams to raise the profile of unpaid carers and the support we can offer, they’ve streamlined the referral process and refreshed the carers passport. Their achievements in the short four months they’ve been in post give us strong foundations to continue on our carers journey.
I am delighted that today we’ve made a new green car leasing scheme available for our colleagues. This will make it possible for colleagues to lease a vehicle – including electric and hybrid cars – via a salary sacrifice scheme. We know lots of people have been keen on having this option available to them and it’s also one of the actions we committed to in our Green Plan.
Next week Matt Daley, practice development nurse for career progression, embarks on an incredible challenge to raise funds specifically for bereavement support through SASH Charity, and to raise awareness of chronic pain recovery. Matt will be climbing the three highest peaks in the United Kingdom – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, and driving the length of the United Kingdom. You can find out more about Matt’s challenge here and I wish him all the very best.
Ahead of Sunday’s national Thank You Day, I thought I’d share a compliment I received this week from a local resident who has had several friends and family members under our care in recent weeks. They wrote “I wanted to pass on my thanks to you and your team for the simply outstanding levels of care, compassion and kindness I saw every single person I came into contact with show, I cannot put into words just how reassuring it was to see people I care about in such good hands.” A big thank you from me to all of our One Team for everything you do for our patients and each other every day. Thank you also to our community for your continued support and to our partners across health and social care.
If your department has taken part in the platinum jubilee bake-off don’t forget to send a photo of your creations to email@example.com and let us know who was crowned the winner in your department! Finally, if you’re attending the party organised by SASH colleagues have a wonderful celebration – well done to Angela Stoker, Sara Begg and their colleagues for organising.