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Welcome to our Summer 2013 edition of Members’ Matters

Following the publication of the second Francis Report earlier this year, there has been a lot of focus nationally on the quality of nursing care. Here at Ashford and St Peter’s we have been working with staff to develop a new Nursing and Midwifery strategy – ‘Together we care’.

The elements of our new strategy were launched at our Pride in Nursing Day last month, an internal conference celebrating the work of our nurses and midwives. The day generated a real buzz and we were delighted to see staff sharing their experiences afterwards on Twitter. After the success of such an inspiring day we are looking forward to our Pride in Therapies Day in October which will celebrate the contribution of our great therapy teams.

Another step towards a more transparent NHS came with the recent publication of mortality data for individual hospital consultants in ten specialties. This leads a push to give patients more information about their treatment, helping the NHS drive up and maintain quality of care.

The information published includes how many times each consultant has performed certain procedures and what their mortality rates are, with any that fall outside the expected range described as ‘outliers’.

Some of this data can be a little difficult to access, but overall we welcome this move towards more transparency and I am pleased to report that none of our consultants are described as ‘outliers’. The data can be accessed via NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk/consultantdata or follow the link from our website at www.asph.nhs.uk.

I’m also delighted to report that we were recently nominated as a top 40 hospital by CHKS, a well-known organisation that works with healthcare providers to help them analyse their data. The top 40 list is based on how well hospitals perform on key criteria such as safety, patient experience and quality of care.

After a busy winter and spring, we are pleased to have met the four hour waiting target* for the first quarter of 2013/14. Over the last year improving the way we manage our emergency patients has been a top priority and we are starting to see big improvements for our patients. This work is continuing to ensure we are well prepared for this winter.

I am particularly saddened to report the sudden and tragic death of one of our most respected consultants, Dr Sakunthala Seelan. Our sincere condolences and sympathy go of course to Dr Seelan’s family, and also to our haematology and pathology teams where she worked for so many years.

As a Foundation Trust we are responsible to our local community, particularly through our elected Governors who sit on our Council of Governors. We have elections coming up for a number of our constituencies – why not think about standing?

And finally, we want to improve and extend the dialogue with have with you, our patients and members. I’ve recently ventured onto Twitter and would love to hear from you – why not follow me directly @aileenmmcl.


Aileen McLeish, Chairman

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If you live in one of our local authority wards, you can become a member by completing our online application form.