Hello all,

IMG_1232.JPGI was delighted to see so many young people attend a brilliantly-organised careers event on Wednesday evening at East Surrey Hospital. Our education, learning and organisational development team put on a fantastic event for students in year-9 and above. We had around 150 young people and parents come to hear about different roles in healthcare, see demonstrations from many of our colleagues and speak to some of our partners from universities. Doing this sort of thing is vital to ensure we encourage young people to take up careers in the NHS and I hope many of them come and work right here at SASH in the not-too-distant future. My thanks go to Frankie Head, strategic education manager, and the whole team behind the event, including everyone who spoke, held stalls, and led demonstrations. Read more about the story here

Group photo with NHS SussexWe were joined by executive colleagues from NHS Sussex on Wednesday. I’ve written regularly in this update about the importance of working together across the health and care system, and Wednesday felt like another really important step in the right direction. By developing these relationships we can help solve a number of really tricky problems. Whether we’re talking about the significant immediate pressures on our services or working together to design things that will deliver exciting improvements in the longer term, we’re in a much better position to come up with solutions together.

Congratulations to our diabetes team who have once again led the way nationally during Hypo Awareness Week. They scooped the national Hypo Awareness Week excellence award, given to the team who impress most with their work to educate healthcare professionals. The judges were impressed that the team delivered training sessions on specific guidance, made sure all departments were provided with a hypo box with all the necessary contents inside and developed an awareness video. Well done team!

There is just a week to go to complete your national staff survey. I know things are really challenged right now, and it’s ok to be honest about that when you’re filling out your survey. I said I wanted to hear from you and I mean that – I’ve heard a few people say they feel like they’re not being loyal to the Trust if they say how challenging it is in the survey, so I wanted to be really clear that for me loyalty isn’t telling us what you think we want to hear, it’s telling us your truth. We need to hear from as many people as possible so we can look at the themes and make as many improvements as we possibly can. Please make sure you submit your survey in the next few days. If you do, you’ll be entered into a prize draw with the winners of some great prizes selected at random. If your survey has been misplaced, please use your NHS email to contact our survey provider Quality Health at helpline-QH@iqvia.com and they will send you a QR code to enable you to fill in the survey digitally. Because of the mail strikes, we encourage you to use the QR code on the survey if you’re able to. We will be making sure completed paper surveys get included too – if you’re at East Surrey Hospital please drop the surveys off at main reception or the mail room and the engagement and wellbeing team will collect them on a daily basis. If you’re at Crawley or Horsham, please leave your staff surveys at outpatients reception.

There are of course lots of other ways we get feedback too. I was really grateful to one of our porters who took the time to speak with me this week. He was really honest about how challenging it is for our portering teams at the moment, with the significant demands on all of our services. They are making a huge contribution to helping our patients and colleagues – I’m going to be arranging a time to shadow him in the next couple of weeks to get first-hand understanding of how we might be able to help the team. In the meantime, a big thank you from me.

It's anti-bullying week this week, and our employee relations team have shared information on SASHnet about what can we do as a Trust to combat bullying behaviours. There are details about who to contact to seek advice and support, including from our Freedom to Speak Up Guardian.

I know long waits to get into our East Surrey Hospital car parks have been really frustrating in recent days, for visitors, patients and staff. We have seen a significant increase in the number of patients and visitors using our car parks each month since April 2022. In the short term, we are taking steps to ease staff access (for example, we opened up an additional staff car park entrance during day time hours this week) and ease the problem for patients and visitors by increasing spaces and arranging for some car park attendants to help with access.

In the medium term we are looking to increase our car park capacity and we are in discussion with the local council over works at the A23 junction and steps to make the crossing from the football club car park safer. I will keep you updated.

Finally, I wanted to share some great feedback on social media this week. A grateful patient tweeted: “Thank you @sashnhs for fantastic service tonight! It’s been less than 6 weeks from referral for a non-urgent MRI, 8.40pm arrived, 8.50pm appt, 9.05pm back in the car and on way home. Making great use of out of hours availability of the scanner, with informative & helpful staff.” We’re working really hard to make it easy for patients to get diagnostics easily, so this feedback is great to see.

Best wishes
Angela Stevenson
Chief executive