New Year letter to staff
2012 was a momentous year for the country and also for St George’s. The Jubilee and then the Olympics caught our imagination and brought people together as well as heralding unprecedented sporting success.
At St George’s we continued our proud tradition of providing excellent patient care. The Dr Foster Hospital Guide once again identified St George’s as one of a handful of Trusts to have statistically significant low mortality rates, a key marker of quality and safety.
During the year we made great progress in a number of key areas including:
- 18 week referral to treatment standard – staff across the Trust worked incredibly hard to deliver an extremely challenging plan. We are now delivering this standard on a sustainable basis.
- Community Services – NHS Wandsworth made a long-term commitment to St George’s as its key provider of community services following the successful integration of Community Services Wandsworth.
- Urgent and Emergency Care – the redevelopment and redesign of the Emergency Department and Medical Admissions Unit was completed during 2012. As well as housing one of the country’s leading Trauma Centres these facilities offer a full range of urgent and emergency care for both adults and children of the highest standard.
- Education – the reputation of St George’s, (both Trust and University), for excellence in education continues to grow. 2012 saw successful inspections from both the GMC and London Deanery, with all visitors extremely impressed by the programmes available.
Moreover, there were notable examples of individual and team success right across the organisation. It is not possible to capture them all here, but the following examples illustrate how excellence is the norm throughout St George’s:
- St George’s Heart Attack Centre named best performing acute coronary intervention centre in London
- Dr J-P van Bessouw elected President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists
- St George’s Wheelchair Service selected as a national case study by the National Institute for Innovation & Improvements
- The Vascular Society identified that patients at St George’s have some of the best outcomes in the country following Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm surgery
- The Breast Cancer Team won a National Improvement Award for reducing the amount of time patients spend in hospital and Sue Lowndes, advanced nurse practitioner at St George’s, was voted ‘Breast Care Nurse of the Year 2011’ by patients and customers of a specialist women’s clothing company
- Dr Mike Sharland and the paediatric infection service identified among the Times Top 100 Children’s Services
- Annette Blochberger, neuro pharmacist, was voted the trust’s overall individual values award winner by our membership, and the trauma and orthopaedics team were voted overall team values award winners, showing that they embody the trust’s values – Excellent, Kind, Responsible and Respectful.
2013 promises to be every bit as busy and challenging, but also rewarding as last year. The economic environment will be tough and the NHS is undergoing major structural change. More than ever the destiny of St George’s is in our own hands.
As business returns to normal after the Christmas break I would like to draw your attention to some of the most significant issues that we will be tackling in 2013:
- Foundation Trust status – the next twelve months should see us complete most of the work needed to become a Foundation Trust early in 2014. Having paid off the last of our historic debt last year we know that we are well placed to achieve this. However, as I have said many times, we cannot simply switch on the ‘autopilot’ to get us there; we need a relentless focus on progressing our financial plans and delivering on non-financial performance, especially 18 weeks, the four hour A&E standard and infection control, (the latter two of which require particular effort as I write).
- Improvement Programme: ‘Safer, Better, Smarter’ – our programme of service improvement is essential if we are to achieve our goals in the year ahead. We are all committed to working ‘smarter’ and not just ‘harder’. The Improvement Programme will give teams and departments the skills and capacity to work in this way.
- Francis Inquiry into Stafford Hospital – the second inquiry into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust by Robert Francis QC is due to report later this month. This will sharpen public focus on issues of quality in the NHS. Mr Francis’s recommendations are likely to be far-reaching and will require a prompt and comprehensive response if we are to maintain public confidence in the services we provide.
- Partnerships – as ever St George’s will achieve the most by working in partnership with others. In the year ahead this will mean taking forward the review of services in South West London with our CCG and DGH colleagues; we will develop a new South West London Pathology Service in partnership with colleagues at Croydon, Kingston and St Helier; together with the University (SGUL) we will develop our research and education partnership with Kings Health Partners.
On behalf of the Trust Board I would like to thank you for everything you have done over the last year. You should be very proud of the team you work with and the service that you provide.
I would like to wish you, your colleagues and indeed your families a happy and fulfilling new year. I look forward to working with you all in the months ahead.
With kind regards
Notes to editors
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