Last week I talked about our plan for ensuring we prioritise safety and staff wellbeing over the next few months. This week our executive team spent some very valuable time considering what we can do differently to achieve this. We know it’s been really difficult and everyone is doing so much to provide safe care, so we’re determined to focus all our attention on the things that can help us meet the challenges ahead this winter.

I am delighted to tell you that we have appointed Mr James Henderson as our new chief of surgery. The appointment follows a thorough recruitment process where we were fortunate to have an incredibly strong field of applicants for the role - my thanks to all the applicants who put their head above the parapet for their commitment to the process and to the organisation. Mr Henderson has been a consultant urological surgeon here at SASH for over six years. He brings with him a strong passion for doing the right thing for patients and a desire to lead with compassion. Mr Henderson is a champion for innovation, having been part of the team who performed our first robotic surgical procedure last year and I’m really looking forward to working with him.

When we began the recruitment for this position, we also said we would appoint a deputy to further support the leadership of the division. I am very pleased that we have appointed Mr Thayalan Kandiah as deputy chief of surgery. Mr Kandiah is our lead for dental and maxillofacial services and holds a number of other external leadership positions, including being the training programme director for paediatric dentistry for our region of Health Education England. Mr Kandiah is passionate about reducing health inequalities and supporting colleagues’ development and will be an asset to the surgery division’s leadership team. Congratulations to both Mr Henderson and Mr Kandiah on their appointments.

Bill Kilvington receives an
honourary doctorate for his service
to the NHS. 

I thought you’d like to know that Bill Kilvington has recently received an honourary doctorate from Birmingham City University. Bill is still working with us on how we can improve capacity in our paediatric department, having previously been our divisional director for women’s and children’s services. He has worked in the NHS for 44 years, during which time he has played a key role in the development of Operating Department Practitioner as a profession. He is a past Chair and President of the Professional Council of the College of Operating Department Practitioners and is its current Patient Safety Lead. I’ve been privileged to work with Bill for many years and couldn’t agree more with how he was described when being given his award – he was commended for serving his profession “with conviction, with dignity, with humility, and above all with humanity.”

We say goodbye tot Lynn
from the discharge team.

Lynn Sanders, integrated discharge team lead is leaving us today to go on a year-long secondment as head of health and social care in Sutton. Lynn has been at SASH for 10 years, starting her journey in AMU/stroke as matron, and then as corporate matron working on the early version of the electronic patient record. She went on to support the opening of the original IRU and Tandridge as discharge wards. As integrated discharge team lead, Lynn managed and supported the development of the Integrated Discharge Team, and more recently has been working with partners on the operationalisation of the discharge hubs for East Surrey and West Sussex, developing the front door team model. Thank you Lynn for your contribution to SASH over many years and I wish you all the best in the new role – we’ll miss you.

This week marked one month to go until our eSASH go live. Over the course of the next few days we will be providing a go-live guide for you, with loads of information of what to expect, and reminders of what you need to know. I’m pleased so many of you have completed your e-learning to help you get prepared for the new system. If you’ve not done your face-to-face training, make sure you book that in too as soon as you can.

Finally, don’t miss out on the special thank you event open exclusively to health and care workers in Surrey and Sussex, and their families too. Enjoy live music, discounted food and drink and spend much needed time relaxing with your colleagues. The line-up for the festival will be announced imminently, so please keep an eye on this page and reserve your tickets!

Best wishes
Angela Stevenson
Chief executive