As we move into December, our focus is firmly on winter and the inevitable challenges it brings. Yet this time of year also brings much to celebrate, and lots of opportunity for us to get together and have a bit of fun alongside all the hard work we put in.
But first let me say a huge thank you to every single one of you for your tremendous hard work and effort over the last few weeks, and in particular last week as we re-focused our efforts on valuing patients’ time and supporting patients to move purposefully along their pathways of care towards a positive outcome and hopefully home. As we go into this weekend the hospital is in as good a position as I have ever seen it so, from me and on behalf of all our patients, a massive well done and let's keep up the good work as we move towards Christmas.
November and December tend to be ‘awards season’ and we’ve recently celebrated a number of successes on behalf of Team ASPH. I recently attended this year’s HSJ Awards where once again we had been shortlisted for a top national award. Whilst we didn’t win, it is still an amazing achievement just to be a finalist and I felt enormously proud to represent our hospitals in a roomful of top performing NHS organisations.
I was joined at the event by Chairman Andy Field and colleagues from across the Trust; Keefai Yeong, Mark Hinchcliffe, Louise McKenzie, Valerie Bartlett, Emma Wilkinson, Deenagh McCaully, Louise Davies and Peter Wilkinson.
This year we were shortlisted in the staff engagement category in recognition of our ‘Be the Change’ and #RightCulture programmes, which have helped improve how it feels to work in our hospitals. Be the Change was originally introduced by some of our junior doctors as a way of enabling any member of staff to put forward suggestions for change and improvement. We have managed to create something that has broken through traditional hierarchies and empowered colleagues to put their ideas forward - and it’s really worked. To be recognised on the national platform for this is fantastic and I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved.
Also attending the awards was Dr Claire Fuller, former Clinical Chair at Surrey Downs CCG and now the Senior Responsible Officer for the Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership (our STP). Claire was shortlisted as Clinical Leader of the Year and went on to win the award which is great news for our Surrey Heartlands partnership. Many congratulations to Claire from all at ASPH.
Team ASPH has also celebrated another award-winning success recently; our volunteer team won the TNT – which stands for ‘Tiny Noticeable Things’ category at the national ‘Fab Awards’ for our ‘Adopt a Grandparent’ initiative. Originally the brainchild of Junior Doctor Dr Chris Marsh, this has been an incredibly successful scheme, where colleagues volunteer to spend time with patients on the wards who can become very isolated in hospital. Our Volunteer Manager Sangeeta Singadia and Stoma Nurse Sarah James-Reid received the award and were amazed at the positive interest from other Trusts who have been inspired by the scheme. My congratulations to everyone involved, particularly those giving up their time to volunteer.
As well as celebrating these successes, there’s also lots going on across our hospitals to get colleagues together and generate some festive spirit. Last night we held our first Pop Quiz, organised by the Health & Wellbeing Group, and although I didn't manage to get along I understand it was great fun and definitely something to be repeated. Well done to Urology, the winning team!
I’m also looking forward to the annual Decorate a Door competition which starts today – an ASPH tradition – which always brings out such a fantastic range of festive creativity, enjoyed by colleagues and patients alike. Finally, I’d like to encourage you to take a look at our first-ever ASPH electronic Advent Calendar which also launches today. Created by the PMO team, it provides a fun way to encourage kindness across our hospitals at a time of year when we are thinking of others. You can find the link here.
In the meantime stay warm and have a great weekend.
With very best wishes,