During another very busy week I’m really pleased to be able to highlight a number of pieces of work that have focused on making improvements for our patients. All week we held a SASH+ Rapid Process Improvement Workshop (RPIW) looking at how we make sure supplies for patients in the emergency department arrive at the right time. It was brilliant to hear all of the ideas that have been tested in our report out today. With so much pressure on our emergency department, I am really impressed with the team’s energy and commitment to the process.

There has been a lot of interest in our SASH+ work this week. On Wednesday, Sue Jenkins, director of kaizen, took part in a Twitter chat alongside national leaders, representatives from Virginia Mason Hospital and colleagues from other trusts involved in the partnership (it was great to see a number of SASH colleagues participate too!). We were also pleased to welcome people from a number of trusts today who wanted to see SASH+ in action. They watched the conclusion of the RPIW as well as our report out.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, our fracture clinic held a celebration event to formally acknowledge the new photographs that now hang in the waiting room. The team launched a photo competition with the goal to make the clinic waiting area a brighter environment for patients. Eight photos were selected as winners by a panel which included patient representatives. The stunning photos are all of local landmarks, were funded by SASH Charity and you can see them in this story on our website. I’m really impressed that the team took the time to deliver this to improve patient experience – brilliant work! 

ImageIt’s so important that we take our role as part of our community seriously. I was proud to see our teams out and about this week teaching life-saving CPR. . On Monday, Therese Sidney, lead resuscitation officer, and members of our critical care outreach team and resus team, went to Gatwick Airport and trained over 150 passengers these crucial skills.​​​​ The previous day Claire Rowley, lead nurse for the critical care outreach team, had been out in the community with SASH, SECAmb and Guys and St Thomas’ colleagues to teach the life-saving techniques. This is all part of the Restart a Heart initiative across the country. It was great to collaborate with Gatwick Airport on this – SASH Charity is one of the airport’s partners at the moment and this was a good example of our collaboration. Thank you to all involved.

It's also crucial that we support local young people to learn about and access careers in healthcare. Next month local students from Year 9 and above can attend our meet the practitioner event at East Surrey Hospital to find out about a typical ‘day in the life of’ some of our colleagues. We’ll also explain the routes into various professions and showcase our simulation suite with some hands-on activities! Make sure you pass on this information to anyone who might be interested. The details are here.  

Many congratulations to Professor Abhay Rane who has been appointed to the position of Registrar of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. This is a prestigious leadership role at the only multidisciplinary Royal College in the UK and a significant achievement. Professor Rane will serve as a College Trustee and Office Bearer on the College’s executive board and council and act as the Council’s lead clinician in a number of important areas. He will take up the role on 3 December and I wish him every success with it.

A picture containing text, person, person, standingDescription automatically generatedMy congratulations also go to Zach Minter, management accountant, for winning the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) award for Outstanding Contribution in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Zach was nominated for his work in going above and beyond supporting our estates and facilities directorate, and praised for his dedication, accuracy and intelligence. Great work, Zach!

This week saw the launch of the South East school of physician associates. This is yet another important development in the progression of the role. We should all be proud that the work we have done here at SASH and across the Kent, Surrey and Sussex school has heavily influenced the development of the South East school. We have employed PAs at SASH for some 11 years, when there were just a handful of people carrying out the role in our region. To see that there is now a regional school with over 200 PAs working in Kent, Surrey and Sussex is phenomenal. Well done to all involved, and a special mention to Dr Natalie King for being such a driving force behind it all.

The pharmacy technician team at SASH.I wanted to shout out our pharmacy technicians as earlier this week it was pharmacy technician day! The team are fundamental to the smooth running of our pharmacy services and provide essential support to patients and colleagues. Ultimately, this means people can get the most out of their medicines – thank you team!

Please don’t miss your chance to complete this year’s staff survey. I want to hear from as many of you as possible. When we get the results, our whole executive team will be looking at them in detail and coming up with plans for how we act on the findings. That’s why it’s so important that every staff group is represented in the results – I want to hear what really matters to you, what your experience of working here is like and what would make it better. Your envelope should now be with you. If you haven’t had it yet, please speak with your line manager or HR business partner.

I was delighted to receive a long and heartfelt letter of thanks from a grateful relative this week. Her husband came to the emergency department and spent time in Kingsfold Ward earlier this year and she praised the doctors, nurses, speech therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, security, housekeepers and catering staff. They felt they had been treated with kindness, dignity and respect throughout – really well done to people across our OneTeam.

Finally, many thanks to our chaplaincy and spiritual care team for hosting a poignant baby memorial service. The team shared readings and poems, played music, and enabled people to light candles and receive a gift of remembrance. I know this will have meant an enormous amount to attendees and I am very grateful.

Best wishes
Angela Stevenson
Chief executive