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“Phenomenal thanks owed to all staff,” says chief executive

Tuesday February 19, 2019



It’s been an extremely challenging week for staff in so many departments and phenomenal thanks is owed to everyone for the excellent care you have provided. 

In the past week alone, bed occupancy in Worthing peaked at more than 98% and we’ve had systems down in radiology and pathology, as well as power outages at St Richard’s. 

Much of this has been caused by issues beyond our control but your response to each has been exceptional.  

Well done and thank you to everyone who has helped us overcome these challenges. 

Perhaps our greatest challenge is the continuing increase in patient numbers, in the face of persisting staffing and resource constraints. 

As you will be aware, we have had to put out a number of urgent calls to increase discharges this week to help free ward beds for new patients in need of urgent care.

We’re seeing around 10% more attendances than in February last year

In January, we saw around 44 more patients a day in our A&Es than we did last year, while admissions rose by 9% compared to 2018. 

So far in February this trend has continued and we’re seeing around 10% more attendances than in February last year and, on average, 10 more people a day than we did just last month! 

However, what’s amazing is that despite these huge increases in patient numbers we are providing an improved service.  

For example, 850 fewer patients waited for more than 4 hours in January this year than did last year, even though we saw 1,370 more patients! 

As George said last week, this is Patient First in action. It’s what our whole lean continuous improvement approach is about – your innovations and improvements helping us to do more.

Of course, this doesn’t happen without the exceptional dedication and compassion to our patients and each other you distinguish yourselves with every day. 

But in recent years, through the Patient First programme, we have also developed an empowering culture where we are willing to try new ways to tackle old problems – and it’s working. 

Earlier discharges is just one excellent example where teams are working together in new ways to ensure we have ward beds available at the critical time patients in our A&Es and on our Emergency Floors need them. 

We know this new approach works and I implore colleagues to commit to it and reap the benefits it offers for all our patients. 

Next week we aim to discharge 30% of patients before midday and 50% of patients before 3pm, every day. But we’ll only achieve this with everyone’s support. 

Additional support from our health and social care partners is being sought and internally we will have a steadfast focus on getting our medically fit patients safely discharged as swiftly as possible. 

When our hospitals are this busy, with everyone working extraordinarily hard week after week, it is important to remember the incredible difference we are making to people’s lives. 

So I thought I’d finish by sharing some recent comments made by our patients and their families. The following are just a small selection from the scores and scores we receive: 

  • My partner spent a total of 13 weeks on the ward and during this time, the whole staff worked tirelessly to make him better and give him care that I haven’t seen anywhere else. I cannot fault the care, love and understanding of all the hospital staff. 
  • Every member of staff was so kind. From the people at reception, to the people who treated me. I am so thankful! Thank you for an amazing service. 
  • From the minute I arrived the whole experience was a positive one. All the staff were very kind and amazing. The procedures were very professional and I had no doubt that all investigations were being done thoroughly. They worked hard to find out what was wrong and kept me informed at all times. I can find no fault with the care and very caring staff.

 On behalf of all our patients, thank you. 




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