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Better Hygiene, Better Health

Suzanne Rankin

Suzanne Rankin
Chief Executive


Firstly I’d like to wish you all a very happy new year. I hope you all had the opportunity for some rest and relaxation over the festive period and I’d like to thank everyone who worked, caring for patients and making their time in hospital as good as it could possibly be.

We know that January is one of the busiest times of the year and last week we held a system-partners Reset Week to really focus on patient flow and discharge, and put the hospitals in the best possible position to cope with this increased demand.

Something I’d particularly like to highlight during this busy time is the importance of good, consistent, infection prevention and control practices. Whilst I know, in times of extreme pressure, it can be difficult to manage everything, it’s really important we prioritise this. Poor infection control practices can lead to an increased risk of transmission and spread, resulting in patients who are more unwell and spend longer in hospital. This is neither good for the patient or helps us to manage our bed capacity and flow. If we get to the stage of having to close bay areas (due to the outbreak of flu or norovirus for example) it makes it even more difficult to manage. We then have to start using extra infection control measures in the care of these patients, which is more involved and time-consuming, creating additional capacity challenges. It can become a vicious circle and the best way to avoid an outbreak is good basic practice.

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Moving Forward

James Thomas

James Thomas
Chief Operating Officer


I would like to thank all colleagues who worked over the Christmas and new year period, I can’t keep away from social media (a new year’s resolution maybe?) and have particularly enjoyed the photos and well wishes from teams at work across the hospitals, it is fantastic to see such festive and team spirit.

January is seasonally a very busy month for the Trust as a provider of urgent care services, with ED attendances and admissions at some of their highest levels of the year. I thought it may be helpful to summarise some of the key actions we are taking in the hospitals to ensure we are best placed to deal with this busy period.

In the run up to Christmas the surgical specialties operating from the St Peter’s site have begun to reduce elective operating and focus on those patients arriving in ED, which is in line with national best practice to cope with increased demand during winter. They have temporarily moved out of Falcon Ward which has been occupied by the ward team from Maple who have moved across temporarily. This has enabled us to open Maple Ward as a medicine escalation ward providing additional dedicated capacity for medical inpatients. Some of the Falcon team have moved down to the Urology Centre which for the peak of the pressures has been set up as a surgical inpatient ward. Our Cardiology interventional day case unit has also been set up as an expansion of Birch Ward to provide further medical capacity.

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Getting in the Festive Spirit

Simon Marshall

Simon Marshall
Director of Finance and Information


I’d like to thank everyone who has been working over the festive period, caring for patients and going above and beyond to make their time in hospital as good as it can be.

I know the commitment of NHS workers over Christmas is truly recognised and appreciated and the front page of the Surrey Advertiser was testament to this - featuring ASPH ED Senior Sister Sophie Byrne along with other ‘Surrey NHS heroes’. Thank you Sophie for representing Team ASPH so well. You can read the article online here.

It’s certainly been a busy couple of weeks and great to see so many of Team ASPH getting in the festive spirit with a real sense of community and camaraderie.

We had our annual decorate-a-door competition with some amazing entries as always. I know Suzanne and Andy really enjoyed walking around the hospitals to judge the doors and chat to colleagues. The winners were announced last week – congratulations to you all! Whilst judging the doors at Ashford, Suzanne and Andy also joined some of our overseas nurses spending their first Christmas in the UK at a special Christmas party. For colleagues who are far away from home, family and friends Christmas may feel lonely, but coming together to spend time with supportive colleagues no doubt makes it a little easier.

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A Christmas message to all staff

This week we’ve got our usual festive video message to share with you. Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances and illness on the day of filming neither of us were able to take part this year. We were really disappointed to miss out on the opportunity but delighted that Louise and Tom stepped in so ably at the last minute to help. I hope you agree, they have done a fantastic job so thank you to them both. You can view the film on You Tube here.

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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.