Angela 2.jpgWe celebrated International Nurses Day yesterday with a range of activities, including the formal opening of our Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale training rooms. Thank you to the team who organised the activities, particularly our wonderful practice development nurses.

Florence and MarySupporting nurses to develop in their careers is so important, so I was pleased that we were able to announce some great achievements as part of our celebrations. The first recipient of the Vicky Daley Memorial Scholarship will be Isha Edwards, colorectal rapid diagnostic clinical nurse specialist. Well done to Isha for submitting a really compelling application about how this will help her complete her postgraduate degree in advanced clinical practice and leadership development.

A huge thank you again to Vicky’s husband Matt for making this happen in her memory – she would be so pleased. Secondly, three of our nurses have become the first to qualify as professional nurse advocates, equipped with skills to facilitate restorative supervision sessions for colleagues. This is another important way of supporting each other, so well done to Dorinda Oman, Laura Champion and Ifunanya Adaezi Obi. Thirdly, congratulations to Nancy Balestrini, Elmer Cabuyao and Saaniha Madhani who have passed their final exam board and are now qualified nursing associates!

 ​​​​​​It was great to spend some time this week with our radiology and oncology teams who are doing a great job. Last year we saw over 23,000 patients following an urgent referral by their GP for suspected cancer. This was an 18% increase on the year before the pandemic and equates to us seeing an additional 3,523 patients. While we’ve had challenges meeting the national standards for cancer waiting times, we’ve made good progress in recent weeks – keep going. I’m also delighted that SASH Charity has just approved a significant bid to improve the environment in our chemotherapy department too, which will make a big difference to patients, so thank you to everyone who donates.

 encourage all colleagues to complete our library and knowledge services survey. Whether you use the service or not, the team are keen to get your feedback to help them provide the resources you want. You can access the survey here, and once you have completed the survey you can enter a prize drawer to win an Amazon voucher.

Tomorrow is the national day for operating department practitioners (ODPs). It’s a role that still isn’t as well known, recognised and supported as much as it should be, so I’m determined we use tomorrow as a springboard to put that right. The ODPs provide highly skilled care for people throughout their perioperative journey, and are a vital part of the theatre team. We must listen to our ODPs and hear how we can do more for them so I’ll be setting up some opportunities to do just that.

It feels like we’re building some momentum around spreading the message of the importance of timely medication for patients with Parkinson’s. Much of that is down to the inspirational Clare Addison, our lead nurse for adult safeguarding. Last week Clare joined the Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Board to discuss the issue – it was excellent to see our partners embrace the message just as much as we are here at SASH.

We're relaunching lots of ways to recognise your achievements. Later in the year we'll be restarting our long-service awards and Trust-wide awards. In advance of this, we want to make it easier for you to run star of the month awards in your own departments. Look out for more details next week!

We had a really productive session yesterday with national and local partners about how we can all work differently to reduce delays to patients leaving hospital when they’re clinically ready to. We acknowledged that all service providers have challenges meeting the current demand, and that population growth and changes in demand since the start of the pandemic both contribute.  While there aren’t any easy solutions, we all agreed there are things we can do together to make things better. Within this context, remember the difference you’re making every day. I was really pleased to read an email this week from a grateful patient who, after being brought here by ambulance, said “it is self-evident from this visit to A&E why your hospital is rated Outstanding.”

I hope you have a good weekend and thank you to everyone working. I’ll be attending the Time to Remember service organised by our chaplaincy team. It takes place tomorrow and you can find more details here.

Best wishes
Angela Stevenson
Chief executive