Hello all,

This week I would like to start with a very special thanks to all our midwives here at SASH on today, International Midwives Day. Your work, compassion and team spirit to support not only each other but all the families who come through our doors is inspirational.

Just this week our colleagues at West Sussex County Council fed back about how brilliantly our maternity unit supported a heavily pregnant mother and her distressed young children who were repatriated to the UK from Sudan over the weekend. The Council went out of their way to thank us for dealing with them all with such kindness and compassion, especially after an ordeal that we can only imagine. While I wasn’t surprised to hear such great feedback about our services, it still always fills me with pride.

Speaking of pride, today we also bid our farewell to our Director of Midwifery Michelle Cudjoe. She’s been here longer than I can remember - over 21 years all said and done. In that time, from ward to board, she’s not only become part of the family but been a champion of our maternity services throughout. Her inspiring leadership led the team to an outstanding maternity rating in 2019 and a legacy at SASH to be proud of. It certainly won’t be the same without her.

On this her last working day before her official last day next Friday - I want to thank her for all that she has done both for us and the thousands of patients and families she has worked with over the last two decades. We wish her all the best in her new role, and I know she will be sorely missed, not only by me but many of you too.

Also this week, we were delighted to host a visit from the senior leadership team at the Defence Medical Services - who deliver healthcare services to military personnel in the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force in the UK and across the world. Their visit was to learn more about our SASH+ work and hear from staff across the organisation about our journey of improvement over the past eight years.

I would like to say a huge thanks to colleagues who hosted them during their visit, and to the executive team who presented the challenges and successes of our SASH+ journey so far. It’s great to be sharing our learnings and experience with others outside our organisation in this way and I certainly look forward to doing more of it in the future.

Looking ahead to next week, on Friday we’ll celebrate International Nurses Day - partnering with Surrey and Borders Foundation NHS Trust to host a virtual International Nurses Day conference.

Finally, while I hope those of you who have any special coronation or bank holiday plans enjoy the extra long weekend, I want to once again thank all of you who will be working hard to keep our services running and our patients safe this weekend.

Best wishes,
Angela Stevenson
Chief executive