Western Sussex Hospitals have joined up with Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals to form a new NHS Foundation Trust for our area: University Hospitals Sussex.

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Chief executive says huge and heartfelt thank you to staff

Wednesday January 23, 2019


Dear colleagues,

I wish to say a huge and heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who has been working so hard in recent weeks.

We know it remains tough, but our extensive winter planning, many new initiatives and your continued commitment to our patients and each other have put us in a much better position than we were in a year ago, and there really are a number of achievements we should be celebrating and taking great pride in.

For example, in December, 1,000 fewer A&E patients waited more than four hours to be treated, admitted or discharged than the year before.

That is an incredible 54% reduction in 4-hour breaches, despite more people actually attending our emergency departments than last year!

As a result, we had the 11th best performance for type 1 A&E departments in England last month.

Thank you to all our nursing teams caring around the clock, working extra shifts and being flexible

Another fantastic and related achievement is the fact that not a single patient has had their elective operation cancelled due to a lack of beds so far this winter.

This is in stark contrast to last year, when sadly many patients had procedures postponed because we simply did not have the capacity to care for them post-theatre.

This has only been possible because of better planning, new ways of working and the focus and hard work of so many colleagues to ensure our patients spend no longer than necessary in hospital.

Thank you to all the doctors doing extra ward rounds, extending weekend cover and staying longer to safely discharge patients.

Thank you to all our nursing teams caring around the clock, working extra shifts and being flexible to help us open escalation areas.

Thank you to our allied healthcare teams working in new ways and providing additional hours, as well as our health science teams, support services colleagues and administrative teams.

Across the board, everyone is rallying together and it is truly humbling to see how we all pull together to put our patients first.

We know it feels tough and people are getting tired, but you are making such a difference to so many thousands of people who need our care.

Of course, the worst of the winter may still lie ahead of us so I strongly urge anyone who has not had their flu jab to please get vaccinated as soon as possible.

It is not too late to get protected! As health workers, we are more at risk of catching flu and we risk passing it on to our loved ones and patients, with potentially fatal consequences.

Please contact your workplace flu vaccinator or Occupational Health now and get vaccinated.

Thank you for doing so – and for keeping our patients safe this winter.



Dame Marianne Griffiths | Chief Executive | Western Sussex Hospitals

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