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.
Coming back to St Peter’s Hospital today I see that so much has changed in a relatively short amount of time. Arriving at work I was able to park in the brand new, covered, multi-storey car park which was a great start to the day! I then came in via a checkpoint and was pleased to see such robust safety measures in place. Taking a walk around the hospital I noticed how much brighter many of the corridors are looking and also the floor ‘lane’ markings to encourage social distancing.
At lunchtime I took a walk down to the Education Centre and was really struck with the new style ‘EduKitchen’ and menus. I met William Britton and Miguel Camara, who has been working with William on the design and menus for the Trust cafes and restaurants. I am really impressed with the new food and drink offering and enjoyed my soup, ordered via the new ‘click and collect’ PearPay app.
I also spent some time in the Education Centre chatting with the Surrey Safe Care team, who had set up a stand to connect with colleagues about the programme. I was really interested to hear how things are progressing, that all the current state reviews had been completed and the team were beginning to plot how the new solution will work in the future.
Of course these are just the changes I’ve seen in one morning and I know there will have been lots happening right across the Trust. Over the next two weeks I will be getting up to speed and catching up with colleagues and visiting different areas and teams across the Trust to hear your news and updates.
It’s clear that Team ASPH has continued to prioritise the safety of patients and the team and innovatively adapt the way we work to provide the best possible care and experience. As a team we are preparing for the second wave of Covid, the inevitable pressures of winter and the continued restoration and running of outpatient, diagnostic and elective services. We are clearly all working under immense pressure but I can see the Team ASPH spirit is going strong and we will support each other through the coming weeks and months.
I really am so pleased to be back and very proud of all you’ve done in the last four months during these challenging times. Do please say hello if you see me out and about.
With best wishes for the week ahead,