I have taken over Suzanne’s message of the week today and I want to use the opportunity to tell you more about the ASPH Transformation Programme happening at both Ashford and St Peter’s over the next few years.
As you go around both hospital sites, you’ll see hoarding going up and work starting. This is really exciting. Not only will our buildings start to transform and be better places to visit and work, it will help us radically improve the treatment and care we can provide.
If you want a reminder of what we are doing, take a look at this film we made earlier in the year. Suzanne interviews me about our plans, how we got funding for the improvements through efficiencies and selling land, and how it will enable us to provide services that are better co-ordinated and more efficient bringing benefits for both patients and the team. However, to achieve these positive outcomes, there will be some difficult phases to manage so it’s important everyone knows about them. Even though we are trying to minimise the disruption while the work is going on, there will be some inconvenience. The improvements at the end will include new integrated emergency and urgent care facilities, more parking for staff and visitors, improved staff accommodation, new shops and restaurants, and new staff wellbeing facilities. But this does mean some short-term pain for long-term gain.
The greatest disruption for colleagues is likely to be as we build the new multi-deck car park at St Peter’s. When complete, the car park will solve one of the biggest complaints from both colleagues and visitors, the lack of available car parking. However, there will be a period of about eight months from autumn 2019, when we close the main outpatient car park to build the new car park, meaning parking for colleagues will be particularly challenging. We’re working on plans to provide additional temporary parking on-site and off-site, alternative transport to St Peter’s, and we’ll be asking teams to consider other options, such as working from another site or home.
Working from home or elsewhere is not suitable for everyone but it will be possible for some, allowing us to free up spaces for colleagues who do have be on-site at St Peter’s. Look out for more information about car parking in the next few weeks. In the meantime, please start thinking individually, and as teams, about how you can temporarily reduce the demand for car parking spaces, particularly on the days of peak demand, which are Monday to Thursday.
We will also be resurfacing and reconfiguring the car parking at Ashford Hospital over the summer.
Building work starts this autumn on some of the key projects to improve facilities for patients. At Ashford we’re building a dedicated infusion suite and we’re creating a new 43 bedded ward at St Peter’s. Construction of our flagship programme, a new urgent care and integrated assessment building starts in October 2020, and this will take two years to complete.
In July we’re starting work to extend St Peter’s PGEC dining area so we have adequate restaurant facilities when the Aspects Restaurant (behind Chertsey House) closes in October as part of the West Site sale and redevelopment.
The space vacated by the Aspects Restaurant will be used to build new staff accommodation. The expansion of the PGEC is a temporary measure until the new shops and restaurants open in the remodelled main entrance. The expansion will be over the current patio area, so we will lose the external seating space.
We’re also building new staff wellbeing centres at both Ashford and St Peter’s to give colleagues a protected and quiet space to take a break, making the Trust an even better place to work.
In March Suzanne wrote a weekly message about improvements to on-site staff accommodation, where we are working with Optivo, the housing organisation which provides our staff accommodation. Optivo is making good progress in clearing its site to build brand new accommodation at St Peter’s. New and modernised staff accommodation is being built to replace the old Parklands. As a result, we’ll end up with much more staff accommodation providing higher quality and facilities, which will help us attract new people and retain existing staff.
Alongside these key projects, there are a number of smaller, but no less important, ones. At Ashford these include the creation of a new rehab unit, the relocation of workforce and development, and the relocation of the day nursery. At St Peter’s we are creating new urology offices and a larger ITU relatives’ room and integrating supplies into the main building. These developments are coupled with some important infrastructure projects, such as theatre ventilation replacement and major electrical resilience improvements.
As you can imagine, this programme of work is like an enormous jigsaw puzzle. It’s taken a number of years and a lot of hard work to get this far – getting the plans together, finding the finance and working with partners to get planning approval. The next part is more visible, and even though we are working hard to make sure the impact on staff and visitors is minimised, we will all be affected at some point. However, I am confident that the long-term benefits will be worthwhile and I do appreciate your support through all of these changes. If you have thoughts or questions, let me know.
With very best wishes,
Director of Facilities and Estates