Welcome to our Spring 2015 edition of Members’ Matters
As you may have seen in the media, we recently experienced our busiest ever winter which culminated in declaring a Major Incident in our hospitals in early January.
We took that decision to ensure the continued safety of patients at a time when our A&E department and the rest of the hospital were quite simply full. I remain proud of the way our staff coped with this surge in demand.
I am delighted to highlight our ‘Good’ rating which we received from the Care Quality Commission following their inspection in December. In today’s climate, particularly post the Francis Review, a ‘good’ rating is not awarded lightly and only a minority of acute Trusts have received either this or a higher rating.
I am also pleased to let you know we were recently shortlisted for two Top Hospital awards by CHKS (a leading provider of healthcare intelligence), for Quality of Care and Patient Safety. Coming hot on the heels of our CQC Report this is further reassurance of the high quality of care we offer local patients.
You may also have read that our proposed merger with The Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has been delayed by the Competition and Markets Authority - see below. There is no doubt the rationale for merger remains as strong as ever and whilst a delay is dis-appointing, this gives us more time to engage with stakeholders and partners on our future plans.
Our latest NHS Staff Survey results show really positive improvement and are the best for a number of years. We know that a positive culture, with staff who are engaged and motivated, goes hand in hand with high quality patient care.
Finally, as we start the new financial year it’s clear this will be another year of challenge. With a General Election on the horizon, I’m sure the NHS will be under more scrutiny than ever and whatever the outcome, the challenge of continuing to improve the health of local people, against a rising tide of demand and a difficult financial position will only increase.
I have no doubt that our positive relationships with local partners will stand us in good stead as we continue to work together on behalf of our patients.
Aileen McLeish, Chairman