What a week it’s been! Last weekend we went live with our enhanced electronic patient record (eSASH). This is a huge step forward for our staff and patients. Lots of the work we previously did on paper – like our drug charts and our clinical documents – is now on one electronic system. It will have so many benefits, the most important of which is boosting patient safety. With a change this big, it’s bound to take some time to get used to it (no matter how much training and preparation we’ve done). We’re right in the middle of the bedding-in period where we’re having to fix some issues and get to grips with using the system in real life – my message to our teams is keep going! I was walking around the wards over the weekend and the excitement and enthusiasm was palpable; what impressed me most was the OneTeam approach to helping and supporting each other. I’m proud to see us sticking together and helping each other through this change – I know it’s not easy. My message to our patients is bear with us - it may take us a bit of time to get used to the system initially; thank you for your patience.

There are so many teams and individuals worthy of praise for getting us to this point – we’ll share lots of stories in the coming days and weeks. Today, I wanted to highlight our pharmacists because this Sunday is World Pharmacists Day. I met with many of the team on Wednesday to thank them as a huge part of the launch of our system is the transcription of each and every patient’s drug histories and current prescriptions onto the system. This unlocks our ability to use the new functionality, so as you can imagine the team have been exceptionally busy. They coped remarkably well with the delays we experienced on Saturday, switching their rotas to get through the mountain of work as swiftly and safely as possible.

In getting ready to launch the system, we’ve used many of our SASH+ continuous improvement tools – another example of how SASH+ is used in our day-to-day work. The approach of course originated from our partnership with Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle and this week an evaluation report has been published on the wider partnership programme within the NHS. You can read it here. To help us build on this work, next week we have Dr Gary Kaplan, the former CEO of Virginia Mason, coming to talk to us about sustaining improvement.

Separately from our new system, we have seen many examples of colleagues going to considerable lengths to give patients the best experience possible while in our care. On Monday we were all moved by the State Funeral of Her Majesty the Queen. I know it was important to many of our patients that they got to witness the event. While we unfortunately don’t have televisions in every bay across the organisation, I saw staff act with ingenuity and compassion to help patients watch the funeral by getting Trust laptops and other devices for them. 

It's so crucial to give the best experience possible, particularly when it’s so busy. That’s why I was particularly pleased to read this comment from Care Opinion posted on Tuesday:

“Went to AE - 100 people there got seen in an hour, impressed. Stunning staff of professionals who listened and made solutions. Nurses And senior staff excellent. Reception staff listened acted and smiled. Great professional hospital.”

Well done to the whole team in the emergency department – I know it’s been a very challenging week so a big thank you from me. 

A group of people posing for a photoDescription automatically generatedIn such challenging times it is really important to remind ourselves how much we are achieving too – and we have lots to be proud of at the moment. Yesterday it was an honour to present more of our colleagues with their long service certificates. We weren’t able to do this during the pandemic, so are gradually making sure we acknowledge each individual who has reached a significant milestone with us in the last couple of years. Congratulations to all of you.

Two people smilingDescription automatically generated with medium confidenceI’d like to welcome our first two paediatric advanced clinical practitioners to SASH!  Kevin Goddard and Natalie Banner completed their ACP training through the pandemic – a great achievement in itself! We know from other divisions that ACPs are such a brilliant addition to the clinical team, so it’s great to have you as part of our women and children’s health division.

A group of people posing for a photoDescription automatically generated

One of our radiographers, Jordan Cheshire, recently completed a reporting qualification at Canterbury Christchurch University. I am delighted to tell you that she has been awarded their clinical excellence award for Radiographer reporting, which is sponsored by the In-Health group. This is a testament to Jordan herself and to the support the department have given. Well done Jordan. 

I’d also like to give a shout out to the inspirational Dr Shrilla Banerjee who is featured on the latest TCTMD Rox Heart Radio podcast – TCTMD is an international resource for the field of cardiology so it’s great that Dr Banerjee is featured.

Finally – I wanted to share more information on one of the ways we’re delivering our Green Plan. Paul Simpson has previously told you about our project to introduce reusable sharps bins, rather than single-use plastic ones. It has prevented 13,620 single-use containers from being manufactured, meaning that seven tonnes of single-use plastic will not be incinerated. The new products have also contributed to the collection of 1,000kg of metal materials for recycling. You can now read more about the project here.

Best wishes
Angela Stevenson
Chief executive