Our services have again been under immense pressure this week. While much of this is down to the challenges we are experiencing with being able to discharge patients who are ready to leave hospital, the pressure is felt most in our emergency department. We’ve made some changes in our processes this week to help us use more of our space and resources to mitigate risks. While this will help, there’s more that needs to be done – I’ve been engaged in lots of conversations to secure further support and I’ll be updating the ED team about that next week. In the meantime, I must say thank you to everyone for all you are doing in these huge pressures – it’s been as difficult as I can remember and I am very grateful.

On Wednesday I popped down to see Jenny Chay, senior PALS officer, as it was her last day after over 30 years with us in a number of roles. Jenny should be really proud of her contribution to our Trust and we’ll miss her.

Jenny Chay.png
With Jenny Chay,
senior PALS officer

This week we also said farewell to Dawn Huish, widening participation advisor, who is moving on to another exciting role at our partners, First Community. I’d like to thank Dawn for everything she has done to support people to join our One Team and prosper in their NHS careers.

Many congratulations to Dr Sunil Zachariah and Dr Elspeth Potton, who have received letters of excellence from St George’s University of London following excellent feedback from doctors in training. They consistently achieved the highest student satisfaction ratings with 100% of their students rating their experience as either good or excellent in all blocks last year. This makes their placements among the top most highly rated clinical placements for St. George’s, University of London MBBS students over the past academic year. Really well done to both of you!

As we mark Physician Associate week, I wanted to say how proud I am of our wonderful PAs and the way in which our organisation continues to support the development of the profession. We now have 25 PAs who work across all our divisions. They provide really important continuity for patients and having their expertise as part of our One Team has enabled other teams to expand. We were asked to set up the regional school of PAs back in 2014 and it’s fantastic that we’ve now got nearly 200 PAs working across that patch. Regulation of the profession is in the pipeline – it’s long overdue and this will be another important step in the profession’s development.

This week also marked the start of two important awareness months:

October is Speak Up Month. It’s really important to me that everyone feels confident to speak up. It is a crucial part of keeping our organisation safe for patients and colleagues. If you work at SASH and don’t know how to raise a concern, please take a look at the information available on SASHnet. As part of this please take the time to familiarise yourself with how to contact our Freedom to Speak Up Guardian, Debbie Mayne, and our Freedom to Speak up Ambassadors.

It's also Black History Month and you may have seen case studies from some of our colleagues on our information screens around our buildings – keep your eye out for more this month, courtesy of our Cultural Inclusion Champions Staff Network! Three Arches Restaurant also has a special menu – staff can find it on SASHnet.

On Monday colleagues across SASH will begin to receive their annual staff surveys. I am so keen that as many people as possible complete their survey. It’s completely anonymous but we get reports on the themes so that we can act on your feedback – please do take the time to complete it. This year you will be automatically entered into a prize draw when you’ve completed the survey. For confidentiality, the prize draw will be managed by the survey provider, and after the closing date of the survey a group of participants will win a selection of prizes.  

Finally, a date for your diaries – it’s our annual general meeting on 27 October. Please join us from 5pm in the lecture theatre at East Surrey Hospital – we’ll be recapping last year and looking ahead to the future. More details are here.

Best wishes

Angela Stevenson

Chief executive