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Welcome to our Spring 2014 edition of Members’ Matters

Moving into the new financial year, it is a good opportunity to reflect and think ahead. I have no doubt it will be a time of challenge for the NHS as whole, but at the same time we must not lose sight of the excellent work that goes on every day on behalf of our patients.

Two items will be particularly high on the national agenda - the delivery of emergency care and how it is provided in A&E departments across the UK; and how the NHS can move towards more seven day working to improve clinical outcomes for patients. Both these items are already priorities at Ashford and St Peter’s and we will be watching to see how the national picture develops.

It’s clear that more collaborative working is going to be important if we are to keep pace with these developments and underlines the importance of our continuing partnership with The Royal Surrey County Hospital Foundation Trust.

With Spring arriving we have recently completed a ‘reset’ week at the Trust we called “Spring to Green” which focused on improving patient flow through our hospitals, converting as much time as possible to clinical care. I really enjoyed myself working as a Ward Liaison Officer for a day and being part of the team on one of our medical wards, Maple.

The week was a great success and I’m looking forward to seeing the changes and improvements that will follow.

At the same time, we marked Nutrition and Hydration Week, with lots of additional focus on these basic aspects of care. Many colleagues joined in and were out and about helping with mealtimes, delivering afternoon tea and cupcakes and taking part in the evening drinks rounds.

Food and drink provide a vital contribution for people recovering from illness and for those at risk of malnutrition. Ashford and St Peter’s marked the week by celebrating nutrition and hydration initiatives, looking at best practice and involving non-clinical staff in various events across our hospitals.

Nina Cron, Specialist Nurse Nutrition Support, said: ‘Food and drink are important parts of our daily lives and we use them to connect and celebrate. Joining patients on the ward encouraging and assisting people to eat and drink makes a big difference to their day. Our mealtime volunteer initiative, led by Chief Executive Andrew Liles, does just this; a group of non-clinical staff, who don’t normally work on the wards, regularly help give out meals to patients and assist them with their eating.

 

Aileen McLeish, Chairman

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