Over the last few days my executive colleagues and I have been dropping into departments to say thank you for our colleagues’ efforts as we continue to see high numbers of patients needing our care. Our #OneTeam are pulling together brilliantly and I’m very grateful. From next week, a member of the executive team will also be at Crawley Hospital every Friday in Radiology RW123 to make it easier for colleagues to speak with us there.
One topic that people have been asking me about a lot in recent weeks is the national plans for vaccination regulations. I wanted to make you aware that this week the government confirmed that regulations making COVID-19 vaccination a condition of deployment in health and social care will be revoked on Tuesday 15 March. This follows a consultation on the topic that closed a couple of weeks ago. You can read the consultation response here.
While our services are so busy, it’s critical that we’re able to deal with any issues in our buildings as quickly and efficiently as possible. I wanted to pay tribute to those involved with quickly sorting a significant water leak from ageing pipes in our eye clinic recently. It happened on a Sunday, but the quick action of our estates team, our housekeeping team, the outpatient team and our site team resolved the issue. They worked together brilliantly to quickly repair the problem and clean up the mess, minimising disruption for patients and colleagues. We have an extensive programme to deal with backlog maintenance and are actually replacing pipework across much of East Surrey Hospital at the moment – this work will be completed in the next six weeks and will help prevent future issues like this. This will also resolve the leak we have outside theatres and in various other places (you will be pleased to know).
Yesterday was World Book Day and our library service and paediatric team always make the most of the occasion to help improve children’s experience of being in hospital. By delivering book tokens and some of this year’s World Book Day books, I hope we brightened the day for children being treated on Outwood Ward. We’re grateful to the team at WHSmiths for helping us with this.
I hope you’ve all had a chance to look at our new website I mentioned last week, which can be accessed at https://www.surreyandsussex.nhs.uk/. I’d like to thank Pareeta Nayee, senior communications manager, for leading the development of the site so well during such a busy period. We now have a much better, more accessible site for people needing information, and it gives us a great platform to continue to build on the content.
I can’t end without acknowledging the terrible situation in Ukraine; I know that colleagues are desperate to help and we are looking at what we can do as an organisation; I will keep you posted. In the meantime, my thoughts are with those of you with friends and family in both Russia and Ukraine.