It’s great to be back in the thick of it this week and hear how well our industrial action plans worked while I was away, as well as the impact Let’s Get You Home is already having. I visited Brockham, Smallfield and Copthorne to see the progress for myself and it was both brilliant and inspiring to see how well our Ward Managers and Matrons are leading this work and the difference it’s starting to make. I am looking forward to visiting Tandridge and SAU next week and continuing to see our progress as a trust in the coming weeks. My thanks to everyone for all their work on making this launch a success.
This week I also took part in a really positive session with our Surrey and Sussex system partners on our draft five-year strategy - looking at how we deliver services together to improve patient care and outcomes, and where we need help in addressing some of the difficulties that we can't solve on our own. I left the room feeling energised and looking forward to what we can achieve together.
Our system working this week didn’t stop there though - we also took part in an excellent ageing well workshop with key stakeholders from East Surrey Place, thinking about what the future of anticipatory care hubs and how we transform our services to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable, closer to home.
And finally for this week, on a more sombre note, I attended the funeral of Richard Burford, a close friend of the trust in his time as Chair of the Friends of East Surrey Hospital - raising over £2m to help patients and staff. While it was of course a very sad occasion, it was quite rightly a celebration of his life and work – I know we will miss him.
Looking ahead…this weekend we will go into the first of two consecutive bank holidays. I know plans are in place to help manage the anticipated demand on our services, and today we have also issued some renewed messaging to the public on carefully considering which NHS service they need before attending our ED. This will help ensure our services are available for those who really need it. I want to thank all of you who will be working hard to keep our services running and our patients safe this weekend and next.
On Friday 5 May we will also mark International Day of the Midwife and next week, quite fittingly, welcome our new chief of nursing and midwifery Tina Hetherington. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge from across the NHS and joins us from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, where she was deputy chief nurse. I know she has a big job on her hands, I also know that she’s very keen to get stuck in and that you’ll all make her feel very welcome as she settles in.
Finally, I hope those of you who are off this weekend enjoy it.