It’s been another busy year for St George’s, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals and Health Group – with 34 people, on average, going to one of our emergency departments (EDs) every hour.

2023 has also seen the birth of about 7,600 babies across our three hospitals, and the number of outpatient appointments has comfortably topped one-million.

While nurses, midwives, doctors, and other healthcare professionals have been busy this year, other teams have also been working very hard.

Catering staff have served up more than 920,000 patient meals, while maintenance teams have responded to about 47,000 requests for repairs and other issues – the equivalent of 128 a day.

At Epsom and St Helier hospitals 240 tonnes of waste has been recycled, while at St George’s 695 tonnes was recycled between April 2022 and March 2023.

And this dedication didn’t stop over the festive period – with many staff continuing to work, including the nearly 2,800 who worked on Christmas Day.

It’s been a challenging year for our hospital Group, with strikes and record-breaking demand in our emergency departments placing severe pressure on services and hardworking staff. That is set to continue over the coming weeks, and you can read more about getting medical help during the industrial action here.

But there have been things to celebrate, too.

In May, the Government gave the green-light for Epsom and St Helier to build a new specialist emergency care hospital in Sutton, and to make improvements to our existing estate.

Across our Group, we also unveiled our ambitious plans for one of the largest renal services in the country, and we carried out tens of thousands of HIV checks in our emergency departments to help people with the virus start treatment more quickly.

Plus, we launched our new five-year Group strategy, which highlights our ambitions for the future and what we want to achieve.

There have also been plenty of examples of outstanding care.

At St George’s, baby Zak’s very rare leukaemia symptoms were spotted by our medics. Mum Tammy said she felt “safe and secure” when Zak – who is now in remission – received his treatment at our hospital.

And earlier in the year, young Jackson rang the end-of-treatment bell, cheered on by his friends, family, and staff. He has just celebrated his first cancer-free Christmas since he was two.

There was also the story of 23-year-old Liam, who was “bed bound” for months by a debilitating condition known as ulcerative colitis. He is now “in a better place than he could ever imagine” and has opened his own tattoo shop, thanks to life-changing surgery at Epsom Hospital.

And Nicky, who spent 90 days in intensive care after falling ill with Guillain-Barré syndrome, said going to St Helier Hospital was “the best decision” of her life. She told us: “It’s an amazing place, and the care is just great. A lot of people don’t recover fully from this condition, but I did. I think that’s down to my determination, but also the treatment I received.”