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Welcome to our Autumn 2013 edition of Members’ Matters

Since the last edition of Members’ Matters we’ve had a busy few months at the Trust, marking a number of key milestones – big projects that have come to fruition and some that have just begun, such as our new Midwifery Led Birthing Unit at St Peter’s. I’m immensely proud to have celebrated these events with many of our Governors, stakeholders and staff, particularly the recent opening of our new £2.8 million outpatient department at Ashford Hospital, one of the biggest capital developments we have undertaken for some time. We were delighted to welcome well known actress, local resident and former patient, Nina Wadia (best known for playing Zainab in East Enders) to officially unveil the opening plaque.

With the colder days drawing in, we have been busy planning for winter. I’m sure you will have seen much of the national media coverage describing a challenging picture for hospital emergency departments – here at Ashford and St Peter’s we feel we are as well prepared as we can be and have introduced a number of new services to help, such as a new Ambulatory Care Unit close to A&E (to treat patients unlikely to need hospital admission), and our new Older Person’s Assessment and Liaison team (OPAL) providing quick and expert assessments for older patients when they are first admitted to our Medical Assessment Unit. I would also like to draw your attention to our ‘Choose Well’ guide, a quick and easy reminder on choosing the most appropriate health services.

We’ve had the first results from the new Friends and Family Test which show we are in the middle of the pack nationally, and recently we have introduced the test in our maternity services. The feedback we receive is valuable in terms of addressing issues quickly and in knowing where we are doing well. We’ve also introduced new self check-in kiosks at Ashford Hospital (see below) which are going down really well with our patients.

Finally I’d like to share some really good news in terms of quality improvements. We’ve gone a whole year without a hospital acquired MRSA bacteraemia (making us one of the top Trusts in the South East Coast), and with really low levels of Clostridium difficile – just 4 cases since April – we are joint best in the country for that. We’ve also just been categorised in the lowest (out of 6) banding for risk by the CQC which again is really good news for our patients.


Aileen McLeish, Chairman

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