Patient care always comes first
There cannot be a single person in the NHS who won't be affected by the Healthcare Commission's report into the high death rate at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
I know only too well that at times it can be a difficult balancing act to ensure that we meet all of our performance targets while remaining patient-focused. But I am clear that we don't have a choice. Surely most NHS workers joined the NHS to help and care for people? In my hospital there are many talented people who could have chosen other paths but we chose this one and we have to put patients at heart of everything we do.
More transformation at the Royal Surrey
I am really excited about the changes going on throughout the hospital as part of our transformation programme - Patients 1st. The latest improvement is this week's launch of a new approach to treating patients who come in with hip fractures. These patients are elderly and often have other conditions and illnesses that can complicate the way we treat them.
This new approach coordinates care across all the departments involved and will lead to those patients having a much smoother journey through the hospital and hopefully a shorter stay.
Bidding for success
Earlier this month we put in six entries into the South East Coast Best of Health awards. Fingers crossed for success in summer.
The hospital from the air during the snow in february taken by RSCH radiographer and professional paramotor pilot Laura Turner
Shoppers stopped in their tracks
Now not many hospitals can say they have brought their local High Street to a standstill but twice on Saturday 31st January we did exactly that thanks to Gordon's School's pipes and drums band.
The band was part of the entertainment at our member sign up event on Guildford High Street to mark the end of the Foundation Trust public consultation. The bagpipes and drums drew huge crowds and we signed up nearly 200 new members and generated some young fans with free ‘I love Royal Surrey' balloons and face painting.
Thousands get in on the act
I have to confess I was getting a bit worried about the lack of members recruited at the start of January, but I am now overwhelmed at the massive support we have received in the final few weeks of the consultation. Our number of public and patient members has soared to well over 11,000 with more coming in every day. Thank you so much to everyone who has signed up - it means so much to know that we have our fans and supporters out there.
Snow doesn't stop staff
I already know what a dedicated bunch our staff are, but this was cemented by tales of some people walking five miles in the snow to ensure that they still got to work during the heavy snow and then spending the night here. It is not an option for us to shut our doors and many staff did what they could to make it in and ensure that our patients were still well cared for. They are all stars and are one of the many reasons why the Royal Surrey is a great hospital.
Pressures not easing
I know I am not the only NHS Chief Executive of an acute hospital who has found the last couple of months pretty testing. The colder weather has put massive pressure on all our resources and has meant that we have struggled at times to maintain the A&E four hour wait and have enough beds to go round. But the staff have kept going through what has been a very prolonged busy period. I am hoping we are on the way out of this and we all get a bit of breathing of space.
Speaking about Foundation Trust status at the Question Time event alongside Medical Director Dr Christopher Tibbs and Chair Melloney Poole
Deep freeze doesn't stop Foundation Trust debate
Despite the sub-zero temperatures I was pleased that more than 80 people came along to our Foundation Trust Question Time event last night (8th January) at Guildford College. It was fantastic to meet some of first ever members and to hear from local people who just want to learn more about what it all means. Local MPs Anne Milton and Jeremy Hunt joined my board colleagues and I on the panel and we were all delighted with the genuine sense of support from the audience and the diverse questions - all topics from what it will mean for the community and the main benefits to how we can improve community services. I am excited about getting more involved with our local communities and hope we can have many more sessions like last night's.
We are getting it right on infection control
The Healthcare Commission's report on how well we are meeting the requirements in the Hygiene Code came out earlier this week, but to my mind doesn't tell the full story at all. Everyone in this Trust has worked very hard over the past few years to turn around our approach to infection control. We now have the lowest number of cases of C difficile in the South East and are on course to meet our MRSA target this year. The assessors only saw a snapshot of what is going on and, although we know there are more improvements to be made, I know that this hospital is clean and that all of our patients are receiving the safest care possible. No-one is complacent about tackling infection and if there are issues we will deal with them.
Packed to the rafters
This does feel like our busiest winter in nearly ten years and you would have to have been living under a stone over the last month to have not seen that the NHS across the country is also feeling the strain.
We are almost bursting at the seams and there doesn't appear to be any signs of it slowing down yet (the weather is not helping at all), but the staff have been amazing. It is difficult to keep going when there is a never ending supply of patients to treat and find beds for and your colleagues are also dropping around you with flu, norovirus and coughs and colds, but keep going they have.
Thank you to one and all of them and for going above and beyond to keep the place going.
New one stop shop halves treatment time for patients
This week we launched a new service for patients with the urological condition - haematuria. We are the first hospital in the county to offer a comprehensive one stop service and our patients are receiving all their diagnostic tests on the same day. The great thing about this new service is that the patient journey is now 27 days compared to 65.
Your hospital still needs you
I have this feeling that we have a great deal of support out there but we do need more people to actually sign on the dotted line and become members. If you haven't signed up please follow this link and do it today: www.royalsurrey.nhs.uk/join-us. It's free and is the best way to support us and secure a great future for the Royal Surrey.
Nick Moberly, Chief Executive
Welcome to my and the Royal Surrey’s first ever blog. This is new territory for me, but I hope will provide a great way of keeping all the people who matter and make the Royal Surrey what it is – our patients, employees and the local communities we serve – up to date with our news and events.
Christmas wind down!
Unlike many organisations Christmas does not provide us with time to take stock and take our foot off the pedal for a few weeks – in fact it is quite the opposite. The NHS is a 24/7 365 day a year organisation and in common with NHS Trusts up and down the country, we have got increasingly busy over the last few weeks and there are no signs of slowing down. We have already appealed to the public to help us to keep going over the festive period by using our services responsibly. A&E is only for medical emergencies – the more patients with minor ailments who come through our doors, means longer waiting times for everyone.
Your hospital needs you
We are now almost half way through the public consultation stage of our Foundation Trust consultation and it has been quite an eye opener. We have held public meetings across our patch and are now well acquainted with the church and village halls and community centres in the areas where our patients live. The people who have attended have been very interested in our plans and supportive but numbers of attendees has been low. However, we have given out thousands of membership forms and almost have 500 members. But this is not enough and if you haven’t signed up please follow this link and do it today: www.royalsurrey.nhs.uk/join-us
Membership is free and it is you chance to support the Royal Surrey and help us to look forward to a bright future. If you have already signed up – thank you and can you please get your family, friends, neighbours, postman and milkman to do the same!
A and E nurse tribute
I would like to pay tribute to one of our A&E nurses who sadly passed away at the end of November. Hazel Jones worked for the Royal Surrey for 20 years and touched many staff and patients’ lives during that time. Hazel worked in a variety of roles across the Trust and she has left a very big gap. We were indeed lucky to have had her commitment to the Royal Surrey as a colleague and as a nurse to so many local people.
2008 has certainly been yet another busy and successful year for us and it would not have been possible without all our dedicated staff. A huge thanks to all of them and we can all look forward to an exciting 2009.
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