A cancer patient has become a new mentor for the Chief Executive of Royal Surrey County Hospital.

Chris Knight will be the new patient mentor for Louise Stead, the Chief Executive of Royal Surrey County Hospital.

Louise, who was appointed to the Trust in September, wanted to find a patient mentor to meet with her regularly and help provide insight into how best to improve patient experience and services.

Chris, aged 55, who has been treated for prostate and colon cancer, wrote to Louise after seeing a leaflet during his chemotherapy session and was delighted to be offered the role.

He said: “I felt that this was a good way to give something back for all kindness and support I had been given by the hospital and its staff.

“I was a little apprehensive before this first meeting, as the role is something outside of my usual skill set in the industry. However within seconds of meeting Louise she puts you at ease with her enthusiasm and positive approach.

“I came away thinking I could help her in her quest to make a difference to the way patients are treated from the moment they enter the hospital grounds to the completion of their treatment.

“Using the observations that I make as a patient, whose only knowledge of how a hospital operates is what I see when I’m being treated, or what I hear from other patients and the wonderful caring staff, I am hoping I can help make a small but positive difference to other patient’s experiences in a hospital which is offering world class treatment close to my home.”

The hospital is a European leader in brachytherapy and a training centre for laparoscopic surgery. It has some of best equipment in the UK with two surgical robots and has led the way with enhanced recovery.

Louise said: “We are rightly very proud of our cancer services and the many exciting things that are underway including our new Colin Stokes Urology Centre.

“But we also know how important it is that alongside great innovation and research that we are continuing to improve patient care. That’s why I was keen to find a mentor who can help me better understand patient needs and shape our improvements going forward.

“Chris is helping do just that and already our initial conversations are generating great ideas for improving how we do things and helping us see things the way patients do. I am really grateful for his time and support.”

©2019 Royal Surrey County Hospital

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