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COVID-19: The Local Situation

Suzanne Rankin

Suzanne Rankin
Chief Executive

 

This week I thought it would be useful to reflect on the current Covid situation and the impact this may have locally and for Team ASPH.

You will, no doubt, know that the number of Covid infections is increasing steeply across the UK and there is recognition that we are now in the second wave of the pandemic. The number of patients admitted to hospital with suspected or confirmed Covid is increasing nationally and the death rate is rising. To provide a quick snapshot; yesterday (11th Oct) 12,872 new Covid positive cases were reported across the UK. This compares to 3,539 one month ago (11th Sep) and 1,148 two months ago (11th Aug). You can take a look at the latest statistics here.

Much of the media attention has been upon the north of the country, with news of high numbers of cases per 100,000 population, local outbreaks and lockdowns. Whilst it is clear the numbers are higher in this part of the UK, cases are also rising locally across Surrey. It’s really important we keep abreast of the local situation so we can prepare and respond accordingly.

 

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Challenges and Changes

Suzanne Rankin

Suzanne Rankin
Chief Executive

 

Today is my first day back at ASPH and it is really fantastic to be here – it feels like coming home! Hopefully you saw my message at the start of September explaining what I’ve been doing on secondment at NHS Test and Trace over the last four months. As I said in that message it has been the most challenging and intense experience of my professional life to date. It’s been an incredibly interesting and insightful opportunity and the time sped by. I did, however, really miss Team ASPH and have been looking forward to coming back and reconnecting with you all.

I’d like to thank David for stepping into the Chief Executive role and doing such a fantastic job whilst I’ve been away, ably supported by the executive team and all of you. As I said previously I never doubted this would be the case and having that confidence made it much easier to be away from the Trust. Thank you to David and the whole team for your unwavering support and commitment.

 

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Exciting Developments

Dr David Fluck

Dr David Fluck
Acting Chief Executive

 

This week I’d like to use the message to describe some of the exciting capital and estates developments happening across the Trust.

You may have seen in the news that the government recently made an additional £150 million capital funding available to expand and upgrade more than 25 A&Es, to reduce overcrowding and improve infection prevention and control ahead of winter. We are delighted that ASPH has received £15m (£6m this year and £9m next year) which we will use to expand and improve our Emergency Department and Urgent Treatment Centre.

Our priorities are to increase bed capacity, redevelop the current Emergency Department and relocate the Urgent Treatment Centre to better accommodation, increasing the size and improving the waiting areas. We are currently working with the divisional teams on the exact plans, so will share more information as soon as it becomes available.

 

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Preparing for the Second Wave

Dr David Fluck

Dr David Fluck
Acting Chief Executive

 

You will, no doubt, have seen extensive media coverage about the ‘second wave’ of the Covid pandemic. Covid cases across the UK are rising and at ASPH we are seeing increasing numbers of suspected and confirmed patients.

The prospect of coping with a second wave, both professionally and personally, will naturally feel daunting. We all have our own unique set of circumstances and things that will worry us, be it related to work, home, physical or mental health, family members, childcare etc.

Having lived through the first wave of Covid we all know it will be a challenge. However, I know Team ASPH will rise to that challenge and I think there are positive things we can draw on.

We’ve lived through the first wave, learnt so much and are, naturally, much more prepared than we were in March at the start of the pandemic.

 

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Chief Executive's Message

On a regular basis, our Chief Executive sends a message to staff about events at the hospitals, special achievements, and plans for the future.

We shall be adding them to this section as well as including them on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

From time to time, we shall ask other members of the Trust Board and clinical team to give their perspective on the week in our hospitals.