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July 2022

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Chief Executive Julie Smith and Chairman Andy Field
Trust Welcomes New Chief Executive - Julie Smith
On 3rd May 2022, we welcomed Julie Smith the new Chief Executive. Julie is a radiographer by background who held early clinical roles at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, the Rosie Maternity Hospital, part of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) and Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust. Since 2018 she has been Chief Operating Officer of East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust.

Since joining, Julie has had a really busy few months with a great introduction to the Trust and has spent time meeting many colleagues both from within the organisation, and our local health and care partners across the system. We're delighted to welcome Julie to ASPH and look forward to working with her.

Julie Smith said: "I'm delighted to officially start in the role of Chief Executive at ASPH. I'm looking forward to meeting with colleagues from across the Trust and working with such a committed and high performing team."

Pictured above: Chief Executive Julie Smith and Chairman Andy Field

Healing Arts – The Eternal Garden and Light Boxes
On the 2nd May 2022, The Eternal Garden at St Peter's Hospital was opened by garden designer and TV presenter, Arit Anderson.

The Eternal Garden is the third garden of its kind in the country, and is available for our patients receiving palliative care, parents under our Maternity and Neonatal services whose babies have sadly died or are receiving end-of-life palliative care, and for colleagues who are having difficult conversations with patients.
In the Eternal Garden
The garden comprises a patioed area surrounded by pleached trees, an oak pergola, plant beds and wooden benches to create a private space for our patients and their families, and three water bowls to fill the garden with the calming sound of trickling water. There is also a garden room to enable the space to be used all year round, with bi-folding glass doors to allow the healing power of nature to flow throughout.

A number of guests attended to celebrate the opening of The Eternal Garden, including the Lord Lieutenant, the MP for Runnymede and Weybridge, the Mayor of Runnymede, the Mayor of Elmbridge, Rae Wilkinson who designed the garden, members of The Outdoor Room team who carried out the work to transform the space, as well as colleagues from across the Trust and members of the Friends of St Peter's Hospital, who provided funding for the garden.

The Eternal Garden is one of the projects that has been carried out by the Trust's Healing Arts programme, led by Andrea Lewis RRC, Chief Nurse, and Marcine Waterman, Deputy Chairman, which aims to introduce more visual art, music and performance into hospitals and to improve architecture and green spaces across the Trust.

Pictured below: Nature Works for Health light displays
Nature Works for Health light displays

Research and Development – ASPH'S Contribution to International Covid Research During the Pandemic
Research and Development
The Trust celebrated the achievements and awarded colleagues with certificates for their vital research contributions to Covid research over the past two years. Some of that vital research has helped worldwide understanding and treating the disease from recovery and care to reducing infection rates and the innovative nasal sprays for the early treatment of mild Covid.

Dr David Fluck, Medical Director, joined the Research and Development team in thanking them for their contribution to international research during the pandemic.
The Research and Development team participated in several studies and trials throughout the pandemic and were greatly supported by colleagues who worked collaboratively to enable a huge volume of research to be undertaken, which helped to gain a better understanding of Covid and the development of treatments.

Professor Pankaj Sharma and Dr Isaac John organised an insightful session to share some of the studies that we have participated in as a Trust. Some of that vital research which helped in understanding and treating Covid included:
  • RECOVERY - an early Covid study trialling various treatments on hospitalised Covid patients to improve standard of care.
  • SIREN - a study looking into the reinfection rates of Covid amongst staff members which was later repurposed into looking at Covid vaccination antibody levels.
  • NONS - a clinical trial utilising nitric oxide in a nasal spray form for the early treatment of mild Covid to reduce viral load and prevent serious infection.
David Fluck said, "I was delighted to present some of our colleagues with certificates from The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), Clinical Research Network Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, for their nominations in the Research Support Awards, established to recognise the "unsung heroes" of research - those NHS colleagues who give help and support to research and development."

Colleagues from Critical Care, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Stoma Care, and Complex Care teams were all recognised. In addition to the fantastic teamwork, Anna Nicholas, Fertility Nurse Specialist, was awarded as Highly Commended by NIHR for her personal contribution to the hugely successful recruitment of two trials at ASPH. Anna was praised for her dedication to the research studies and with her support, ASPH are one of the top recruiting sites for the trial – a huge accolade.

Surrey Safe Care Launches
In May, we launched a new electronic patient record system with Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust - known as Surrey Safe Care, setting the scene for joined up care across the county.

The system consists of a series of software applications that bring together and digitalise clinical and administrative data to replace paper-based records that will improve processes and increase safety, efficiency and experience for patients.
Surrey Safe Care Launches
Preparing for this has required a phenomenal amount of work from colleagues from both trusts over the past two years, and since launching it's been a hectic few months for the team. We have of course had the inevitable system and workflow glitches, both expected and unexpected, but the teams are doing a great job and working together to quickly identify any issues.

We are all going through the transition period, with some colleagues having to change their way of working after decades of using our legacy systems – in some ways it's like saying goodbye to an old friend, and whilst we are all keen to embrace the benefits of having the new technology, it's important to recognise that change isn't always easy.

However, we are already starting to see the benefits, with greater visibility from a clinical perspective. We are now prescribing electronically, and our bedside monitors are integrated, so when a nurse takes vital observations, these are automatically uploaded into the patient record, a nice time saving that frees up our nursing staff to provide the care our patients need.

ASPH Celebrates New Staff Restaurant
ASPH Celebrates New Staff Restaurant
The EDU-Kitchen restaurant at St Peter's Hospital officially opened its doors in March 2022. Chairman, Andy Field cut the ribbon at the grand opening and thanked those involved for all their hard work.

Since the pandemic, Raouf Mansour and his Catering team have transformed the way colleagues dine at the Trust with a new-look kitchen, five-star international cuisine from home grown and sustainable ingredients, barista coffee, choice of teas, home-made cakes and biscuits at affordable prices.
Commended by Prue Leith, the Trust has become an NHS exemplar catering site regularly being shortlisted for awards and appearing in Catering publications.

Colleagues have been enjoying the EDU-Kitchen food with satisfaction levels on a par with corporate restaurants in the city - with a rise in social media endorsements and daily menus downloads on the ASPH staff app.

Colleagues have been enjoying the EDU-Kitchen food with satisfaction levels on a par with corporate restaurants in the city - with a rise in social media endorsements and daily menus downloads on the ASPH staff app.

ASPH Celebrates New Staff Restaurant

Catering is playing its part towards the NHS target of Zero carbon emissions through tackling food waste, seasonal menus, staff training, reusable cups, oil recycling for delivery trucks, cardboard packaging, using herbs from the kitchen garden for marinades and local sourcing to reduce food miles and cut the carbon footprint.

The Catering service is a key part of the Trust's Wellbeing and Employee Benefits strategy and is fully supported by the Executive team, who recognise the importance of good food on productivity, morale, reduced sick days and lower patient mortality. The Chef training and development programme is also a major contributor to the Trust's Organisation Development strategy to improve the skills and provide future employment opportunities in the local community. Plans are being drawn up to create a similar dining experience for the team at Ashford.

Veteran Accreditation
Veteran Accreditation
In December 2021, the Trust was formally named a Veteran Aware Trust committed to helping serving members, veterans and their families access healthcare services and find new careers in the NHS.

The Veteran Aware accreditation was formally awarded in recognition of the vital support that ASPH provides the Armed Forces and their families from the NHS "Step into health" recruitment programme to the joined-up healthcare service through our local partners. They join 105 Trusts across the United Kingdom leading the way to improve care within the NHS and help veterans back into the workforce.

In June we celebrated Armed Forces Week with a NAAFI break on Reserves Day at Ashford, where our reserves were joined by Susan Doran, Mayor of Spelthorne, the Royal British Legion and 94 Signal Squadron. For our retired and serving Armed Forces, we were delighted to host our first monthly Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club with a full English Breakfast in the Edu-Kitchen at St Peter's.

Andrea Lewis, the Trust's Executive Lead for the Veterans Aware Programme, said, "We are excited to have received Veterans Aware accreditation status for our Trust, which further shows our commitment to the Armed Forces community. Training will be made available for everyone in our team, to further develop the services and care we deliver to veterans."

Wellbeing Hub Launches
Wellbeing Hub Launches
The wellbeing of our colleagues remains a key priority. In November 2021 ASPH launched one of the most exciting staff benefits the Trust has seen for a decade, with Kirsty Gallacher cutting the ribbon at the opening of the Wellbeing Hub at St Peter's Hospital.

Team ASPH colleagues can make use of free rest, relaxation and recreation facilities, including a gym, surrounded by calming "green" wall art. New showers, toilets and lockers have also been provided for colleagues.
A similar space has been opened at Ashford for colleagues to enjoy.

Co-designed with busy colleagues in mind and funded by charitable donations from individuals and the NHS, the Wellbeing Hubs are a huge asset for the organisation. The Hubs complement our Health and Wellbeing offering which includes an all-year round outdoor dining space with retractable roof, and sustainable dining.

Covid Star Medals and Yearbooks
Covid Star Medals and Yearbooks
Last October we began presenting colleagues with their Covid Star medal and yearbook as a token of thanks and to recognise their ongoing dedication and hard work during the pandemic.

The yearbook has been particularly well received as it includes a range of photos from throughout the pandemic of different teams across the organisation and shows how people came together to support one another during this challenging time.

This memento serves as a permanent reminder of how Team ASPH responded to the pandemic and is a keepsake that staff can share with their families and loved ones. The yearbook also contained a tribute to those colleagues we sadly lost during the pandemic and we are planning a commemorative day for the families of these colleagues, to reflect and receive the medals on behalf of their loved ones.

A series of pop-up collections allowed colleagues to come and collect their medals and personally meet the Executive team, some for the first time, and personal visits were arranged for those too busy to leave the wards.

As well as the medal, colleagues were also delighted to be awarded the George Cross from The Queen, marking the wider NHS contribution and response to Covid and the letter from Her Majesty has been included in the yearbook as special memory.