Hello all,

It's been another very busy week for all of our services. There’s a huge amount of effort going in to optimizing our processes to reduce any delays and get our patients the care they need as quickly as possible. For example. thank you to everyone involved in the SASH+ rapid process improvement workshop this week. It looked at the transfer of patients from ED to a ward. If you add up all the improvements we can make to this process, the combined impact is significant. I’m grateful as ever to our KPO team for guiding us through the week.

Our paediatric services have been particularly busy – I’m very grateful to all our colleagues for doing everything they can to look after local families. We’ve shared some advice on how to choose the right service for your need on our website; you can read it here.

There’s high prevalence of flu and COVID which of course contributes to how busy we are – particularly as staff are affected as well as patients. That’s why I must thank our partners from Alliance for Better Care. They’ve been providing our staff at East Surrey Hospital with COVID boosters and flu vaccinations in recent weeks and finished their clinic with us today. It’s made it really easy for lots of staff to get their jabs, which helps us to protect our vulnerable patients and our colleagues. If you didn’t get your COVID booster and still want it, there are lots of places you can attend to get it. Check the ABC website here for details. Flu jabs remain available across the Trust through occupational health. I really would urge you to get yours as soon as you possibly can.

A picture containing text, floor, person, standingDescription automatically generatedSpeaking of partnership working, as part of our adult safeguarding team’s work to raise awareness during Safeguarding Adults Week, they teamed up with First Community Health and Care to run an information stand at the Belfry shopping centre in Redhill. This was alongside the significant awareness raising at East Surrey Hospital this week – well done team. This is such an important subject and the more we can spread the word about it, the better.

At our board meeting in public this week, we were joined by a patient who had a very difficult experience with us in 2020. We had missed some opportunities to identify diabetic keto-acidosis. It was really important and powerful to have a detailed discussion with him and his wife. It allowed us to reiterate our apology and crucially to discuss the actions we are taking to prevent similar occurrences. These kind of discussions are never about blame – they are entirely focused on helping us improve care and I am very grateful to Paul and his family for helping us to do this.  

On Wednesday I visited the maternity team based at Crawley. They are doing really important work looking after some of the most vulnerable women in our community. Their passion for providing excellent care for local women shone through, and we must see what we can do to improve the environment they work in!

This week a number of our therapists presented posters in the atrium at East Surrey Hospital, to showcase what they’d learnt and achieved in their most recent rotations. If you missed them they will also be there on Tuesday 29 November. I’d encourage you to take a look. Our therapists play a really important role in many aspects of our patients’ care and I’m keen we take every opportunity to raise their profile.

image-20221125153551-2.jpegA big shout out also to all our nursing support workers and maternity support workers – both roles had national days of recognition this week and it was great to see the messages of love and appreciation on social media and around the trust – fully deserved for two critical groups of staff. Colleagues had nominated nursing support workers they felt go above and beyond, with nominees receiving special certificates on the day. Our midwifery team put on a special lunch for maternity support workers in their newly-refurbished Poppy Room.  

Finally, it’s particularly pleasing to read compliments from patients while our services are under pressure, so I was really touched to read a lovely letter of praise for our staff in this week’s Surrey Mirror. A patient took the time to write, commending our teams: “the staff were caring, polite and their endless consideration cannot be exaggerated” – fantastic!

Best wishes
Angela Stevenson
Chief executive