News Archive

New programme launched at Trust for cancer patients

October 2012

A new programme, known as Information Prescriptions (IP), has been established at Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals to support and guide patients with cancer through their diagnosis, treatment and care.

IP Lead and Specialist Colorectal Cancer Nurse Specialist, Lynn De Snoo, explains: "As you would expect, a diagnosis of cancer can come as a huge shock to patients and they often struggle to take everything in. Their consultant may be talking about the stage of the cancer, operations and treatment options and it can just be overwhelming for some people. This is why it is so important to provide patients with good quality written information that they can take home and digest."

The concept of providing cancer patients with a personalised package of information was born out of the 2004 National Cancer Audit, which found that almost 40% did not receive adequate written information. Lynn adds: "Nationally in the past, the quality and quantity of written material has been a bit hit and miss. The IP programme is about making this consistent - ensuring that all patients receive good quality information relevant to their tumour type at the right time."

Epsom Hospital Transaction Halted

October 2012

Chief Executive of Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Andrew Liles says: “We have been proud to be the preferred partner for Epsom Hospital and have worked hard on developing our plans. We have always believed there would be significant benefits – for patients and staff – in creating a larger foundation trust in this part of Surrey and have invested time and effort into developing these plans. Unfortunately despite our collective hard work, we were unable to develop a financially viable plan for Epsom Hospital as part of our Foundation Trust and this is disappointing.

As this process has developed we have continued to look for ways that would enable us to carry on with these plans and did not withdraw from the transaction. We remain committed to taking part in any future discussions which can be held to see if a way forward for Epsom Hospital can be agreed.

Throughout this process cooperation and relationships across the hospitals has been excellent and the level of support and encouragement from staff, public and stakeholders has also been very high. We are in no doubt as to the talent, commitment and quality of both staff and services at Epsom Hospital and were looking forward to Epsom joining us.”

Archbishop Tutu gives inspirational address at St. Peter’s Hospital

October 2012

Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was honoured and privileged to be visited by Archbishop Desmond Tutu earlier this week, as part of an initiative to ensure that equalities are at the heart of the organisation.

The visit was part of a ‘Conversations for Change’ workshop that the trust held in partnership with the Tutu Foundation UK. Archbishop Tutu’s daughter, Reverend Mpho Tutu, joined the workshop earlier in the day, to talk about the Foundation’s ‘Ubuntu’ principles. Ubuntu is an ancient African philosophy that emphasises the importance of the community, expressing how we interconnect and our common humanity.

New screening programme saving lives in Surrey

October 2012

A patient from Woking has had life-saving specialist vascular surgery, as a result of a new screening programme at Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Part of a national initiative, the screening programme for men in the year of their 65th birthday detects a condition known as abdominal aortic aneurysm, which can be life threatening if left untreated.

In some older people, the wall of the aorta (large blood vessel that supplies blood to the body) in the abdomen can become weak and expand to form an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Smaller aneurysms are less dangerous, but as they grow the blood vessel wall becomes weaker and the AAA can rupture, which is often fatal. The condition is particularly serious because it does not have any symptoms, but specialist treatment for AAAs detected through screening is highly effective.

Epsom Hospital acquisition plans halted

October 2012

Following an NHS London Board meeting today (Thursday 25 October) it has been agreed that the proposed acquisition of Epsom Hospital by Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust should be halted.

Although the project has received a high level of support from local people, patients and hospital staff, the parties involved have been unable to develop a financially viable plan for the future of the hospital as part of the merged trust.

Urgent discussions will now take place to determine whether a way forward can be found. These discussions will take place with clinical commissioning groups in Surrey and south west London – who will take on future commissioning responsibilities – the newly formed NHS Trust Development Authority, the NHS Commissioning Board and the two hospital trusts.

Olympic weightlifter opens Infusion Suite at Ashford Hospital

October 2012

Team GB Olympic weightlifter Zoe Smith visited Ashford Hospital on Thursday 18th October to officially open the new Infusion Suite. The unit is now open to patients and will provide a service to anyone requiring an infusion, where drugs are given over several hours via a drip.

18 year old Zoe is a rising star in women’s weightlifting and was the first Englishwoman to win a Commonwealth Games weightlifting medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India. After taking a tour around the unit and speaking with staff, Zoe cut the opening ribbon and joined guests, including the Mayor of Spelthorne, Deputy Mayor of Spelthorne and councillors from the Hounslow Health Scrutiny Committee, for a celebratory lunch.

Volunteer force gives St. Peter’s Hospital gardens a makeover

October 2012

A large group of volunteers in bright red T shirts have given the Abbey Wing Courtyard and other gardens at St. Peter’s Hospital a fantastic makeover, today Friday 12th October.

The volunteer day is kindly supported by Lilly UK, who have given their help today in recognition of the benefits that hospital gardens bring to patients, families and carers.

Care Quality Commission gives hospital clean bill of health

October 2012

Patient records at St Peter’s Hospital are kept accurately and are fit for purpose according to a report published today [9th October] by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). This report follows a recent visit to St Peter’s by the healthcare inspectors on 11th September, specifically targeted at record keeping. This latest inspection means that the hospital is fully compliant in all 16 quality standards set by the Commission.

The Trust’s Chief Nurse, Suzanne Rankin explains more: “This report means we now have a clean bill of health from the Care Quality Commission, which is really good news for our patients and the Trust. Following an unannounced visit by the CQC last December, despite acknowledging much good work, several concerns were raised which we addressed quickly with a detailed action plan. These concerns focused on the use of our Day Surgery Unit to accommodate patients overnight (which we stopped doing in January) and on certain elements of training and support for our staff. A return visit last May gave us the green light for all the areas they inspected with one outstanding concern still noted for record keeping.

Patient environment rated highly at Trust

October 2012

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals have both obtained excellent results in the recent ‘Patient Environment and Action Team’ inspection, known as PEAT. The inspection takes place every year and looks at the quality of non-clinical services provided by all NHS hospitals – in the categories of environment (including cleanliness), food, privacy and dignity.

Manchester to Chertsey walk to raise money for premature babies

October 2012

Sarah Marshall, a thirty four year old mental health charity worker, has arrived at the St Peter’s Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after being sponsored to walk a whopping 200 miles from her home in Manchester.

She set off on Friday September 14th and hiked through Buxton, Matlock Bath, Derby, Coalville and Nuneaton, where she took a day’s ‘breather’. She then carried on with her walk through Rugby, Towcester, Leighton Buzzard, Hemel Hempstead and Slough before arriving at the Hospital on Tuesday 25th September.

Blues Stars Raise Money for Premature Babies

September 2012

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St Peter’s Hospital is delighted with a donation of £531 from Hospital Radio Wey. The donation came from half of the proceeds raised during a charity blues concert organised by Martin Clarke - who hosts the radio’s blues show every Friday night - and Heather Harrison, his producer.

The event, Blues on the Wey, featured renowned British blues artists Marcus Bonfanti, Paddy Milner and Todd Sharpville. It was held in the Post Graduate Education Centre at St Peter’s Hospital on the evening of Saturday 12th of May and was sponsored by Blues in Britain Magazine. Paddy Milner played blues piano, much to the delight of the audience. He was followed by versatile guitarist Marcus Bonfanti and Todd Sharpville, another blues guitarist whose emotionally charged set was no less powerful. Run solely by volunteers, Radio Wey promoted the event, managed ticket sales and also aired the blues session live - Giving the hospital’s patients an evening’s smooth entertainment. The evening raised over £1000, a sell-out success for Radio Wey.

The Queen’s Award presented to Ashford and St Peter’s Volunteers

September 2012

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was presented to the volunteers of Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust by The Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Dame Sarah Goad, in a ceremony at Painshill Park, Cobham, on Thursday (September 6).

Volunteer Eldon Sandys accepted the award on behalf of all 380 Trust volunteers – with around 150 volunteers attending the ceremony. Other guests included Woking MP Jonathan Lord (who officially supported the original nomination) and civic leaders from the Boroughs of Runnymede, Spelthorne and Elmbridge, Vice-Chairman of Surrey County Council Health Scrutiny Committee, Zully Grant-Duff, Queen’s Award Assessor Jenny Griffiths and Tony Duhig, who nominated the Trust’s volunteers for the award.

Triple joy for Woking Mum

September 2012

Elizma Cowle, from Knaphill, welcomed her three daughters into the world at St Peter's Hospital on Wednesday 28th August. Elizabeth, Charlotte and Alexia were born by caesarean section and weighed 4lb 11oz, 5lb and 5lb 2oz respectively.

Elizma said: "My husband, Leon and I were thrilled when we found out I was expecting triplets, but it can make the pregnancy more complicated so I did feel a little anxious. Luckily I didn't have any problems and was brilliantly cared for throughout the pregnancy and birth by the team at St Peter's. It was a wonderful moment and a relief when all three girls arrived safely and were a healthy weight. Elizabeth and Charlotte are identical and Alexia is fraternal, but for the time being I have put little name tags on their hats so I can quickly see who is who!"

100th birthday celebrations at St. Peter's Hospital

September 2012

Special celebrations took place this week on a ward at St. Peter's Hospital for a patient's 100th birthday. Trust Chairman Aileen McLeish presented a cake to Mabel Reeves, a patient on Swan orthopaedic ward, to celebrate her landmark birthday.

Aileen McLeish said: "I am delighted to meet Mrs Reeves and to have the privilege of sharing this very special day of celebration with her while we are caring for her at St. Peter's Hospital. We wish her a speedy recovery."

Mrs Reeves commented: "What a lovely surprise to be given a birthday cake while I'm in hospital. I don't know what the secret is to a long life but I don't let things worry me and I do like my food!" Mabel Reeves is from Hersham and is well on her way to recovery.

Ashford and St Peter's top for hip fracture care

September 2012

Latest figures from the National Hip Fracture Database Report for 2012 show that Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is the best in the country for providing top quality care for patients with hip fractures.

Consultant Orthogeriatrician at the Trust, Radcliffe Lisk, explains more: "Hip fracture, also known as a broken hip, is a common, serious injury in older people that can bring loss of mobility and independence. We know that the quicker we operate on a fractured hip, and the quicker we get a patient back on their feet after the operation, the better a patient's chance of recovery. At Ashford and St. Peter's we work very hard to ensure that this group of patients get the care and treatment they need and I'm very proud that we came top nationally in providing best practice to our hip fracture patients."

The national database is a way for all Trusts across the country to record data on how they are performing - for example how quickly patients go to surgery, access to specialist staff and treatment, how long patients spend in hospital - which is then compared at a national level so that hospitals can measure and improve their performance, providing an even better service for patients.

£13,000 boost for Neonatal Unit

August 2012

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St Peter's Hospital has received a cheque for £13,050 on 22nd August 2012, which will be used to buy new equipment to help premature and sick babies. The money was raised by Rich and Lauren Compton, who spent time in the unit with their daughter Maggie last year. Lauren said: "Maggie was born on the 22nd August 2011 and we spent 19 precious days with her before she passed away. It seemed fitting to come back on her birthday and present our donation."

The money was raised through a sponsored ambulance pull, supported by over 100 people, who worked in teams to pull an ambulance from the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford to St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey. Rich explained: "Maggie was born very prematurely at 24 weeks gestation at the Royal Surrey and then transferred by a special neonatal ambulance to St Peter's, as they provide high level intensive care facilities for the area. It seemed appropriate to follow the 12 mile route that Maggie took in the ambulance twelve months ago."

Along the way, the couple had the unexpected bonus of collecting an extra £700 from passers-by. Lauren said: "People in their cars and walking by saw us pulling the ambulance along and were keen to support our cause - we didn't expect to receive so much though. We are shocked to have raised such a large sum of money and it feels like a great achievement in memory of Maggie. Thank you to everyone who took part and to South East Coast Ambulance Service for providing the ambulance."

Water babies welcome at St Peter’s

August 2012

Giving birth to your first baby is always a special experience, but for Sacha Harden, 21, from Egham it was particularly memorable as her daughter arrived in the birthing pool at St Peter’s Hospital.

Baby Imogen arrived on 26th June, weighing 8lb 9oz, after a straightforward labour. Sacha said: “I first got the idea of having a water birth by watching ‘One Born Every Minute’ on the television. It just looked like such a lovely experience, but I didn’t want to get too carried away with the idea as you never know what to expect. With all the horror stories you hear, especially as a first time Mum, I was half expecting a 72 hour labour ending up with a caesarean! But I spoke to my midwife about wanting a water birth and she was very encouraging, so I hoped it would be possible.

Our Multi-disciplinary Foot Care Team

August 2012

The inclusion of the Trust on the list published by Diabetes UK, of hospitals that do not have a multi-disciplinary foot care team for patients with diabetes, is incorrect. A multi-disciplinary team does exist and has been in place for over two years, covering both Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals. The team consists of a consultant diabetologist, specialist nurse and specialist podiatrist who work together to help patients with diabetes related foot problems.

Trust lifts the veil on R&D at local hospitals

August 2012

Without research and development (R&D) the creation of new medicines, treatments and cures would not be possible. The NHS carries out a large amount of R&D work in healthcare establishments and research facilities across the country, including Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals.

Martha Wrigley, Clinical Trials Manager, said: “R&D is a very exciting field. It is the way we move forward to offer patients better treatment and better outcomes. At Ashford and St Peter’s we have been involved in a huge number of clinical trials and research projects over the years and have lots of exciting work going on at the moment.”

To raise awareness of R&D work at the Trust, there will be a Public Information Afternoon on Friday 14th September in the Post Graduate Centre at Ashford Hospital. Presentations will be given by consultants and research staff to illustrate the range of work that takes place.

Charity shop opens at Ashford Hospital

August 2012

The new charity shop of the League of Friends of Ashford Hospital was officially opened on the 6th August at 10am by the Mayor of Spelthorne, Cllr Robin Sider and Chairman of Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals, Aileen McLeish.

Simon Bhadye, Co Chairman of the League of Friends, said: “We are very grateful to the Trust for the provision of the shop, where we expect to sell greeting cards, second hand videos, DVDs, CDs, books and knitwear (knitted by our volunteers). All our profits will be used to benefit patients and staff and I would like to acknowledge the services provided by our volunteers with their tremendous efforts, time and energy over the years.”

Maternity staff push for normal birth

August 2012

Midwives and doctors at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey are working hard to support women who want to give birth naturally after previously having one or more caesarean sections. Mr James Thomas, Consultant Obstetrician, said: “Whilst they have come to be seen as routine, a caesarean section is still major abdominal surgery and that comes with risks. Particularly when a woman has two or more caesarean sections, the risks of bladder injury, adhesions and problems with the placenta in future pregnancies increase.”

Often women think ‘I had a caesarean last time so will need another one this time’ but that’s not always the case and frequently a normal birth is a viable option. Not only is the recovery time quicker, but it’s often a nicer experience for the mother and there are far less risks to their long term health.”

Equipment made by young offenders helps older patients

August 2012

A young person from the Surrey Youth Support Service Reparation Scheme visited Ashford Hospital recently to present activity and therapy equipment that young offenders had designed and made to help older people at both Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals.

The equipment was initially requested to provide activity for hospital patients with dementia or who may be confused and agitated, and therefore at risk of falling. When the prototype equipment arrived, the physiotherapists and occupational therapists saw they had potential for use with patients who have other conditions such as strokes.

Care Quality Commission Report

July 2012

Following a recent return visit to St Peter’s Hospital, the CQC has now given the Trust a clean bill of health for five of the six quality standards they reviewed, with one concern still noted for record keeping.

Chief Nurse Suzanne Rankin explains more: “Following an unannounced visit by the CQC to St Peter’s Hospital last December, despite acknowledgement of much good work, several concerns were raised. These mainly focused on the use of our Day Surgery unit as an escalation area overnight, which we have now stopped and not used since January. Concerns were also raised around training and support for staff and about the way we record staff training and supervision.

Friends celebrate double anniversaries

July 2012

The Leagues of Friends of Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals have both recently held special events to mark significant anniversaries.

The St Peter's Hospital League of Friends recently celebrated 60 years since their founding, with a service in the St Peter's Multi-Faith Centre, organised by the Pastoral Care team. Music was led by the St Peter's Hospital Choir and organist Dave Fisher.

Afterwards volunteers, staff and visitors stayed for light refreshments in the Centre Garden, to congratulate the Friends on their own Diamond Jubilee!

National Heart Experts Support Ashford and St Peter's

July 2012

International pioneer in heart and lung transplantation and one of the world's pre-eminent cardiac surgeons, Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, came to Surrey recently to open the Atrial Fibrillation Conference for Surrey clinicians, which was hosted by Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Held at the Oatlands Park Hotel and Conference Centre in Weybridge, the event was organized and chaired by Consultant Cardiologist and Arrhythmia Specialist Dr Riyaz A. Kaba, with Professor John Camm from St George's Hospital. Also part of the organising committee were Dr Isaac John, Claire Atkinson, Freda Gomes and Ana Glennon from Ashford and St Peter's.

New focus on nutrition for patients staying in hospital

July 2012

Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is placing increased emphasis on good nutrition for patients staying in hospital, with the launch of new 'Essential Goodness' menus and food, in partnership with catering contractor OCS.

The improved food for inpatients is part of a new contract encompassing all catering for patients staying in hospital, outpatients, visitors and staff.

With increased focus on nutrition and choice, the main 'Essential Goodness' menus use symbols to highlight options that are healthy eating, high energy and part of your 5 fruit and vegetables a day, as well as soft and vegetarian options. All main courses, vegetables and fresh fruit are suitable for diabetics.

High Sheriff visits the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit

July 2012

The High Sheriff of Surrey 2012-13, Mrs Karin Sehmer, recently presented special wooden memory boxes made by young offenders, to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey.

The High Sheriff was accompanied by Ellie Paterson from the Surrey Youth Support Service, on behalf of the young people. The memory boxes are for bereaved parents to keep precious mementos of the premature babies they have lost.

Receiving the boxes, Family Support Sister Lynn Parker said: “We believe that caring for grieving families is crucial and at such a devastating time, parents appreciate these beautiful boxes where they can safely keep all the treasured items that belonged to their baby. We are so grateful to the young people for the care they have taken in making these lovely boxes.”

Maternity staff share message that "breast is best"

June 2012

Staff and volunteers from the maternity unit at Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals organised a cake sale on Wednesday 27th June to support National Breastfeeding Awareness Week.

Infant Feeding Advisor, Kim McHarg, said: "We wanted to encourage people to come and talk to us about breastfeeding and pick up our information, so thought the cake sale was a good way of doing it. We are going to use the money raised to update our breastfeeding information DVDs for parents and staff."

The whole maternity team at Ashford and St Peter's, including midwives, nursery nurses and maternity care assistants are trained to help women establish breastfeeding. After previously achieving the UNICEF Baby Friendly Level 1 accreditation for their commitment to helping new mums breastfeed, the unit is now working towards level 2.

How healthy are your lungs?

June 2012

You may not be a champion sprinter or distance runner but can you even take a brisk walk without getting out of breath?

Wednesday, June 27 is World Spirometry Day which, in the run-up to the Olympics, is aimed at raising awareness of good lung health and demonstrating the importance of sport and other exercise for healthy lungs.

Respiratory physiotherapists and nurses at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey, will be in the hospital’s main foyer between noon and 6.30pm that day offering people the chance to test the condition of their own lungs. Volunteers from the British Lung Foundation and Age Concern will also be there to offer support and advice.

Her Majesty The Queen Honours Outstanding Volunteers

June 2012

On 2nd June, on the anniversary of the Diamond Jubilee, it was announced that volunteers from Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for volunteer groups.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is given for outstanding achievement to groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time, skills and energy for the benefit of others. This is a prestigious national honour.

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals’ volunteers were nominated by members of the local community and supported by Jonathan Lord MP for Woking who said: “Our volunteers play an important role supporting Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals, serving our community, and I am very pleased to have supported this nomination for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – an award that recognises, supports and celebrates our volunteers.”

Trust announced as preferred partner for Epsom Hospital

June 2012

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been announced as the preferred bidder to partner Epsom Hospital to become a larger, three hospital Foundation Trust.

Today’s announcement by the Transaction Board (responsible for overseeing the demerger of Epsom and St Helier hospitals) follows initial approvals by NHS London and NHS South of England with the go-ahead to develop a full business case for creating the new organisation.

Chief Executive of Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Andrew Liles, comments: “We are delighted that we have been announced as the preferred partner for Epsom Hospital. Our plans to create a new, larger NHS Foundation Trust will mean significant benefits to patients across the proposed new catchment area of around 600,000 people as well as providing a stable future for Epsom hospital, its current patients and staff. A larger catchment population means we will be able to continue developing more specialist services – such as bariatric and vascular surgery – offering treatments locally in Surrey that previously would only have been provided in the larger London hospitals for example.

Trust approves funding for ten additional midwives

June 2012

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been announced as the preferred bidder to partner Epsom Hospital to become a larger, three hospital Foundation Trust.

Today’s announcement by the Transaction Board (responsible for overseeing the demerger of Epsom and St Helier hospitals) follows initial approvals by NHS London and NHS South of England with the go-ahead to develop a full business case for creating the new organisation.

Chief Executive of Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Andrew Liles, comments: “We are delighted that we have been announced as the preferred partner for Epsom Hospital. Our plans to create a new, larger NHS Foundation Trust will mean significant benefits to patients across the proposed new catchment area of around 600,000 people as well as providing a stable future for Epsom hospital, its current patients and staff. A larger catchment population means we will be able to continue developing more specialist services – such as bariatric and vascular surgery – offering treatments locally in Surrey that previously would only have been provided in the larger London hospitals for example.

Stop and think! – that’s the message from A&E

June 2012

Do NOT come to A&E unless you really need to! That’s the message from St Peter’s Hospital accident and emergency department, who are expecting an increase in patients over the Jubilee bank holiday weekend.

They ask people to think twice about whether a visit to A&E is really necessary. A&E should only be used when people have suffered trauma, had an accident or have developed a serious illness and are unable to get advice from their local pharmacist, GP or Walk-in Centre. Surrey community hospitals will be providing a normal service, including Walk-in Centres and Minor Injuries Unit, right through the holiday period. For details go to

There are other services available over the bank holiday weekend and there is lots of information at, including a symptom checker. NHS Direct is also available to call on 0845 4647, and they can offer advice and point you in the direction of the most appropriate service.

Trust approves funding for ten additional midwives

May 2012

Trust Chief Executive, Andrew Liles, took time to celebrate with staff in the hospital’s maternity unit earlier this week as the Trust has recently agreed a further ten new midwifery posts for the department.

Said Head of Maternity Services, Sandra Houston: “We are delighted that the Trust has recognised the need to expand our excellent team of midwives by a further ten new posts. This will ensure local women have the very best possible maternity services here at St Peter’s Hospital. Over the last year we have once again seen the number of women choosing to have their babies here increase, with over 4,200 births in the department during the last financial year. We want to be able to provide the very best care for local women and these new posts will help us do that. We have also had a really successful recruitment campaign recently and the unit really is going from strength to strength. It’s a real boost to staff to have the Chief Executive come along to celebrate with them and to have a tour of the unit.”

St Peter’s leads the way with congenital heart clinic

May 2012

A special and unusual service for young adults with a congenital heart condition is being offered at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey. Every three months, a group of three consultants run a joint clinic for cardiac patients who are transitioning from adolescence into adulthood.

The team is made up of Consultant Cardiologist, Dr David Fluck, Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Alison Groves and Professor of Adult Congenital Heart Disease at The Royal Brompton Hospital, Professor Gatzoulis. They each specialise in different areas of heart medicine and by running a joint clinic, are able to offer a more comprehensive service to their young patients.

Exhibition traces history of St Peter’s Hospital

May 2012

An exhibition “From Manor House to Medicine” chronicling the history of St. Peter’s Hospital and its surrounding grounds will be on show at Chertsey Museum for the next 12 months.

Museum Curator Emma Warren said: “We have many artefacts on display including early NHS medical equipment; a nurse’s red-lined navy cloak and an early examination couch. Storyboards chart the history from a stately home to a state-of-the-art medical facility.”

Trust nurses prescribing wider range of pain relief

May 2012

Nurses and pharmacists at Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who have had specialist training in prescribing are now able to prescribe a much wider range of pain relief and other drugs. This is as a result of changes in the law relating to national guidance on non-medical prescribing (prescribing not undertaken by a doctor).

Nurses have been able to train to independently prescribe certain drugs for the last ten years, but until the new guidance, there have been many limitations that have restricted the drugs that nurses (and more recently pharmacists) could prescribe.

Volunteers’ 570 years of service to hospital radio recognised

May 2012

President of the Hospital Broadcasting Association, June Snowden, recently paid a special visit to Radio Wey at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey, where she looked around the facilities and chatted to volunteers about the station’s activities. She later attended their 44th Annual General Meeting and presented service awards to 26 members who had an impressive 570 years of service between them.

Andy Brown, Radio Wey Chairman, said, “We were absolutely delighted to welcome June on her first visit to Radio Wey and it was an ideal occasion to recognise the work of the volunteers and the time they give freely.”

Radio Wey’s Noel is country’s top volunteer

May 2012

A presenter and volunteer at Radio Wey, based at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey, has been named “Off Air Volunteer of the Year” by the Hospital Broadcasting Association. Noel Antliff was nominated for the award by his colleagues at the radio station, in appreciation of the time and dedication he has given for over 15 years.

Andy Brown, chairman at the station said: “The award is richly deserved as, in the last twelve months, Noel has attended a number of our outside events with his van, often setting up alone or with the help of one other volunteer. He has worked tirelessly to promote the station and has never asked for a penny in expenses.”

Trust tackles missed outpatient appointments

May 2012

A local hospital Trust has reduced missed outpatient appointments by 50% in just six months, meaning more patients are getting timely access to the specialist care they need and less valuable staff time is wasted.

Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has introduced a new patient reminder service to reduce the number of people who fail to keep their appointments at both hospitals.

New unit offers more choice for local women

April 2012

The Trust Board at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals has approved plans to build a new Midwifery Led Unit, which will be located in Abbey Wing at St Peter’s Hospital alongside the existing maternity facilities. .

The new unit will provide a ‘home from home’ environment for women who have normal and uncomplicated pregnancies and want to give birth in a less clinical setting. Sandra Houston, Head of Midwifery, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news for local women and our midwives can’t wait to see the new unit built. It’s all about offering a choice of birthing experience to women and providing different facilities to enable that choice.”

Trust welcomes 6000th member

April 2012

Congratulations to Ms Shelagh Gregson, who recently became the 6000th public member of Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Trust Chairman Aileen McLeish presented Ms Gregson from Addlestone with a plant to recognise this landmark in the Trust’s recruitment of members.

Surgeon Scoops Top Prize

April 2012

Consultant colorectal surgeon at Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Mr Humphrey Scott, has received the prestigious Silver Scalpel award for excellence in surgical training. Given annually by The Association of Surgeons in Training (ASiT), the award is presented to inspirational surgical consultants who go the extra mile for their trainees.

This year, ASiT received 29 nominations for trainers working in hospitals across the United Kingdom and after a thorough assessment process, they shortlisted six finalists. Nominations are made by surgical trainees, who can put forward consultants they believe have shown exemplary standards and have a genuine commitment to training. Interviews were undertaken by pairs of ASiT Council members and the findings were sent for independent adjudication involving all 4 Presidents of the Royal Surgical Colleges and the Chief Medical Officer.

Joint ‘Community Hub’ opens at St Peter’s Hospital

March 2012

A new ‘community hub’ has opened at St Peter’s Hospital to help make sure patients are discharged from hospital as soon as they need to be, to the most appropriate place and with the right care plans in place. A joint venture between Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Surrey County Council, Surrey Community Health and the British Red Cross, the unit will focus on helping patients who are staying in the hospital’s short stay Medical Admissions Unit and on those who can be safely and quickly discharged from A&E.

Working together as a multi-agency team – with colleagues from the hospital’s MAU and A&E departments – community hub staff will assess, arrange or liaise with the most appropriate support services to ensure patients' timely and safe discharge from hospital. The unit can also signpost other services and offer similar support to other wards.

Special chair aids recovery

March 2012

The Phlebotomy Department at Ashford Hospital has been given a specially designed reclining chair to provide extra safety and comfort for patients who faint on giving blood.

The £2,000 chair, which was donated by the hospital’s League of Friends, allows the phlebotomist, in one swift, gentle movement, to place the patient in the best position for recovery. The chair will be used as routine in one bay and patients who are at risk of fainting will be directed there. The hospital’s Phlebotomy Manager, Jacqui Hough, who advised on the design of the chair, said: “I would like to thank the League of Friends for their very kind donation. We are delighted to have this state of the art chair which will improve still further the service we provide for our patients.

“At the moment we have just one of these very special chairs but I hope to purchase more as they allow the Phlebotomists to position the patients without any help whereas with the older chairs they have to transfer patients onto a bed – so it’s better for the patient and vastly reduces manual handling.”

New improved catering for patients and visitors

March 2012

Patients and visitors attending Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals can look forward to improved food and catering from April, as the NHS Foundation Trust brings all catering and retail services under one contract.

A new ‘Essential Goodness’ brand for patient food will be launched from mid April, ensuring people staying in hospital are offered a wider choice of nutritious, appetising meals. Outpatients, visitors and staff will be offered a more accessible shop and café service, with longer opening hours and a wide range of meal and drink choices. These will include fresh brewed coffee and portable healthy options including fresh juices, filled wraps, salad pots and paninis.

In order to refurbish facilities, there will be some short term disruption to services in St. Peter’s main entrance. On 30th March, the café and shop will be closed, with a temporary coffee cart in the café area serving hot and cold drinks and snacks. The shop will re-open on Sunday 1st April from 11am-3pm and thereafter normal hours, also serving hot drinks and snacks. Visitors will be directed to alternative facilities in the hospital, including the café in Abbey Wing, Aspects Restaurant and vending machines throughout the hospital.

Once the café has re-opened mid April, the shop will close for a short period for refurbishment, before launching as a WH Smith outlet. There will be no short term disruption to services at Ashford Hospital.

Laser Unit Donation to help Breast Cancer Patients

March 2012

St. Peter’s Hospital League of Friends has donated two state of the art laser units to the hospital’s breast care team, for the treatment of lymphoedema, or swelling that can occur after treatment for breast cancer.

Said Faithe Cockroft, Senior Specialist Breast Care Nurse, “We are very grateful to the League of Friends for this generous donation, which will make a real difference to our patients.

“Many women undergoing treatment for breast cancer suffer from painful swelling in their arms called lymphoedema, which can be very distressing. We have already been treating patients successfully with a laser unit the Friends had previously donated. These new laser units will mean that patients can treat themselves at home and avoid unnecessary trips to hospital, so we can treat a greater number of patients more conveniently.”

Trust holds positive discussions on disabled parking issues

March 2012

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is working proactively with local patient and disabled people’s groups to agree a positive way forward on a number of disabled parking issues. At a meeting held on Monday (12th March) at the Hythe Centre in Egham, representatives from a number of local groups including the Surrey Local Involvement Network (LINk), the Surrey Disabled People’s Partnership, the Runnymede Access Group and others, joined the Trust in a proactive debate around some of the problems disabled people can face when parking at both St Peter’s and Ashford Hospital.

Deputy Chief Executive at the Trust, Valerie Bartlett, explains more: “We know that, despite a number of recent improvements to our parking facilities, some of our disabled patients and visitors are experiencing problems when parking on our hospital sites – for example, some people find our new barrier system difficult to operate, and some of our blue badge holder spaces can be difficult to manoeuvre out of. We also know that some people are not happy with our new charging structure, including charges for some of our disabled spaces. In order to understand these issues in more detail we wanted to hold an open and frank conversation with patient and visitor representatives – our customers – and have been very grateful for the support and facilitation we’ve received from local groups. Yesterday’s meeting was an opportunity for some honest debate and we have made a firm commitment to hold a further meeting in about 6 weeks time to agree a way forward.”

The Trust has temporarily suspended all parking charges for blue badge holders whilst this discussion exercise continues.

Innovative Partnership Working with South East Coast Ambulance Service

March 2012

St Peter’s Hospital has started an innovative new programme in partnership with South East Coast Ambulance Trust (SECAMB), to improve the experience of patients arriving at hospital by ambulance and provide education and training opportunities for paramedics.

Dr David Fluck, Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals Medical Director and Clinical Lead for the project said: “This is an exciting chance for us to forge links with our local ambulance service and in particular, to develop the clinical processes (or pathways) for patients with very urgent conditions. These include ruptured aneurysm, trans-ischaemic attack (mini stroke) and heart attack – all conditions where speedy diagnosis and treatment is vital.”

New Acute Oncology Service

March 2012

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has recently launched a new service for emergency patients with cancer related problems to ensure they have swift access to specialist cancer teams.

The new service, launched in December, is led by Dr Barry Quinn, Macmillan Consultant Lead Nurse for Cancer and Palliative Care at the Trust in collaboration with Consultant Oncologist Dr Maria Drzymala and a team of specialist nurses.

Special Deliveries!

March 2012

Tuesday 29th February saw a bumper batch of 12 leap year babies born at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey over the ‘extra’ 24 hour period.

Alison Howker, Maternity Matron, said: “As Leap Day is such a rare event we wanted to make it extra special for the new Mums and babies so gave each a ‘born on Leap Day’ certificate and hand knitted baby blanket to take home – after all, they technically won’t have another birthday on this date for four years!”

Surge of new midwives join the Trust

February 2012

Over the last six months almost 20 new midwives have joined the team at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals. The new recruits will work in different areas of maternity care – in the community looking after women during their pregnancy and supporting those who choose a homebirth, in the antenatal clinics and on the labour ward at St Peter’s, and on the postnatal ward ‘Joan Booker’ for women and their babies after the birth.

Ashford and St Peter’s is obviously a popular choice for young midwives starting out in their career and Lauren Troughton and Virginia Roderick are among the new recruits. Lauren said: “Everyone was so friendly when I came for my interview that I knew I wanted to work here and they’ve been supportive ever since.” Fellow midwife Virginia Roderick added: “I chose to work here after completing my training as the staff made me feel welcome and immediately part of the team. They’ve really helped all of us to settle in quickly.”

Space for two in new neonatal unit cots

February 2012

Funds raised for the neonatal intensive care unit at St Peter’s Hospital have been used to buy a Kanmed Twin Babywarmer cot, which enables two babies to sleep side-by-side and keeps them warm via a special temperature controlled water mattress. Pictured here, identical twins Rocco and Reo have been in the unit for over seven weeks and spent two of those in the shared cot.

Jaymie Andrew, Mum to the boys, said: “The boys were born on 5th January and when they first came into the unit they were too small and sick to be able to share a cot so went into separate incubators. I tried double cuddles with both boys but they didn’t really interact with each other like they do now. When they first went into the joint cot they tended to stay on separate sides and face away from each other – like they were wondering who the other was invading their space! But they gradually moved closer and closer together and now cuddle up together when they are sleeping and often face each other. After a tough few weeks it melts my heart to see them like that.”

Queen's Award for Voluntary Services Nomination

February 2012

Volunteers from Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals have been nominated for the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The awards are an annual event which recognise and reward excellence in activities carried out by groups in the community – the MBE for voluntary organisations.

Ashford and St Peter’s volunteers were nominated by members of the local community and supported by Jonathan Lord, MP for Woking, who said: “The Trust provides for the healthcare needs of my constituency and ‘our’ volunteers play an increasingly important role in supporting their work. The volunteers are all from the local population they serve and commit their time, skills and energy for the benefit of the local community. I am very pleased to offer my support to the nomination for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services – an award that provides the opportunity to recognise, support and celebrate our volunteers.”

Hospital Radio Wey – a Winning Station

February 2012

At the beginning of February, Radio Wey, based at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey, was shortlisted in no less than five categories in the national Hospital Broadcasting Association’s Radio Awards. There are ten entries in each shortlist and only one more station in the whole of the UK succeeding in getting more entries than Radio Wey onto the shortlists.

This is good news for the station and maintains their excellent record in these awards. Last year, the Blues Session was on the shortlist for the best specialist music category and in 2010, they won Gold, Silver and Commended awards in three categories.

Andy Brown, Chairman at the station said, “We are absolutely thrilled with getting five of our eleven entries shortlisted. This is one of our best results ever and we are looking forward to the awards ceremony at the end of March where we hope to come away with at least one of the top awards. ”

Specialist Unit Opens at St Peter’s Hospital

February 2012

On Monday 6th February, the Mayor of Runnymede, Councillor David Parr, joined Ashford and St Peter’s hospitals Chairman Aileen McLeish, patients and staff from the Trust’s bariatric team, to officially open Wren, a new dedicated bariatric unit at St Peter’s Hospital.

Wren (which stands for Weight Reduction, Endocrine and Nutrition) is a 2 bedded unit on Falcon ward which has been purpose built to accommodate post-operative bariatric (weight loss) patients following the significant development of this specialist service at the Trust. Under the leadership of Upper Gastrointestinal and Bariatric Surgeon, Mr Samer Humadi, the Trust’s bariatric service has expanded from offering gastric banding and intragastric balloon procedures to the full range of specialist weight loss surgery including gastric bypass surgery and gastric sleeves. Since the first gastric bypass in September 2011, the Trust has now carried out around 30 of these specialist procedures, offering this service to a wide catchment area including Sussex, Hounslow, Berkshire and Hampshire.

In response to the Care Quality Commission Report

February 2012

The Care Quality Commission visited St Peter’s hospital on 1st December as part of their routine schedule of planned reviews of providers of healthcare. Their report, [now published on their website] highlights many positive areas, but also notes several areas of concern.

Trust Chief Executive, Andrew Liles, comments: “What is most reassuring is that the CQC found St Peter’s to be a safe hospital with committed and caring staff, a view that was supported by the individual patients and members of staff they spoke to. The Trust was also commended (and rated compliant) for the way we monitor and assess the quality of our services, giving further reassurance on the safety and effectiveness of our care and treatment. However, at the same time, the CQC highlighted a number of areas of concern which we recognise and agree need focused attention.

Most of these were issues we were already addressing, particularly how we manage patients through our hospitals when the demand for beds is overtaking our normal capacity, as has been the case on recent occasions right across Surrey. This meant that occasionally we accommodated patients in clinical areas that are not routinely used overnight – for example our Day Surgery Unit. We recognise that this did not offer the very best levels of comfort and care but as is often the case were trying to balance the needs of many competing priorities. We have now closed the Day Surgery Unit for overnight in-patient admissions.

I would like to reassure patients that we will be redoubling our efforts to address and resolve all the issues raised by the CQC. Whilst we are confident our services are safe, anything that fails to give patients the best possible experience while they are in our care is not acceptable and I will be working with my senior management team to personally ensure the actions we take make the necessary improvements.”

Trust reports continuing patient improvements

February 2012

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has eliminated the need to queue for parking spaces for patients and visitors as part of a drive to significantly improve patient experience, particularly for patients using outpatient clinics.

Chief Nurse Suzanne Rankin explains more: “Each year we provide nearly 400,000 outpatient appointments across our two hospitals, by far the biggest contact we have with our patients. Making sure our clinics run effectively and that patients receive high quality care and treatment in the right surroundings is at the heart of an extensive improvement programme we are working on this year. We’ve already made huge improvements to our parking facilities, particularly at St Peter’s Hospital, where regular congestion had been a real bone of contention in the past.”

Dr Mike Baxter retires after 20 years

February 2012

Dr Mike Baxter, Consultant and Medical Director at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has retired from the NHS and from over 20 years service with the Trust. Mike first joined Ashford and St Peter’s in 1992 as a consultant diabetologist and endocrinologist, becoming Clinical Director of medicine in 1995, a post he held for seven years, before becoming the Trust’s Medical Director ten years ago in 2002. Around a hundred members of staff – past and present – came to wish him well on Wednesday 25th January at his leaving party.

Friends donate equipment worth £30,000

January 2012

The St Peter’s Hospital League of Friends has donated £30,000 to buy 30 new syringe drivers, which are small portable devices that give medication continuously to relieve pain and other symptoms in patients.

Karen Cook, Lead Nurse for Palliative Care, said: “Syringe drivers are commonly used in palliative and end-of-life care to provide medication over 24 hours when patients are weak and have difficulty swallowing. Caring for a patient at the end of their life is about keeping them symptom free and as comfortable as possible and syringe drivers can enable us to do this. The combination of drugs given to each patient is different depending on their symptoms – we can give medicines to counteract nausea and vomiting, for pain or to reduce anxiety.”

Ensuring regular ward rounds

January 2012

Last week David Cameron emphasised the importance of hospitals going back to basics, highlighting hourly ward rounds by nursing staff as a particular example. Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust launched hourly rounding last year on all their wards, which has made a real difference to patient care. Matron Justine Hillier explains more.

“Early last year we decided to introduce hourly nursing rounds on our wards – which we’ve called Care Rounding - starting with our Medical Admissions Unit. This literally means that once an hour, between 7 am and 10 pm, members of our nursing staff proactively visit every patient on their ward, checking that they are comfortable and making sure they have everything they need. So for example, we ask if they have had enough to eat, see if they are thirsty, do they need the bathroom, are they are in pain and so on.

A bumper crop of twins

January 2012

With over four thousand babies born a year, the maternity department at St Peter’s Hospital is always busy. However, between the 9th and 10th January the team was particularly hectic with the unusual arrival of four sets of twins!

Sandra Houston, who joined St Peter’s as Head of Midwifery in July 2011, said: “We see many sets of twins and even triplets delivered every year, but the arrival of four sets of twins in a 24 hour period is extraordinary. In fact, even our longer serving members of staff can’t recall it ever happening before.”

Bringing training to life

January 2012

Clinical training for staff at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals is moving to the next dimension with the recent opening of a new Clinical Simulation Suite at Ashford Hospital. The state of the art training centre features a life-like mannequin which, via a high tech computer and other pieces of medical equipment, gives staff the most realistic training scenarios possible without using a ‘real’ patient.

Consultant Anaesthetist Rob Menzies explains: “The purpose of our new simulation suite is to give staff the experience of working in as realistic a scenario as possible, but in a genuine training environment. This ‘high fidelity’ mannequin acts as an ‘almost real person’; he or she (because it can be either depending on the situation) can simulate a number of different conditions and reactions, putting our trainees through ‘real’ situations which allow them to test and develop their clinical skills in a completely controlled and safe environment. Initially we will be using the suite primarily for our junior doctors, as part of their ongoing training, but we hope to be able to expand to others – ward and theatre staff for example – not simply training individuals, but allowing them to learn together, as a team.”

Local family raise £4000 to help Neonatal Unit

December 2011

A family from Addlestone fundraised over £5,500 to help sick and premature babies at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey. Lauren White, along with her family and friends, hosted a Fun Day at the Jubilee High School in Addlestone which included a football match and fete which raised just over £4,000 with the remainder being raised through the family’s Just Giving webpage.

Lauren said: “My son, Reece, was born prematurely at 26 weeks and was in the Neonatal Unit between April and June this year. He was absolutely tiny, weighing only 1lb 14oz and it was such a frightening time for us. We are so incredibly grateful for everything the staff did and visiting here today reminds me how supportive they all were.”

“Reece has done remarkably well since June and today is a thriving 8 month old. It was really special to come back to the unit and present the staff with the cheque – it feels great to be able to say thank you and give something back.”

Neonatal Community Staff Nurse Sue White added: “We are so grateful for this donation, which will go towards new equipment to help other babies such as Reece. To see him doing so well just five months after leaving us is fantastic.”

Everyone needs “Friends” at Christmas

December 2011

Over the Christmas period, Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals League of Friends and their helpers deliver small presents, complete with Santa hats and big smiles, to all in-patients in their care.

Jim McCall, Chairman of the League of Friends at St Peter’s Hospital, says: “It is great fun for the delivery team and a complete surprise to all of the patients – a very rewarding experience all round!”

First Steps Nursery at St Peter’s scores well

December 2011

The Tiggers Room, for children aged three to five, in the First Steps Nursery at St Peter's Hospital, was recently re-audited and received a score of 6.4 out of 7 for the ECERS E Environment Rating Scale, which specifically looks at learning and development in early years. This figure is much higher than the average ECERS E score across Surrey, which was at 3.29 on 31st March 2010, and is a great improvement on their first audit score of 3.5 in 2009.

The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS) is a standardised tool used by Surrey Early Years and Childcare Services (EYCS) for measuring and improving the quality of provision of children aged from three to five years old and is supported by ECERS E for learning and development in this age range.

St Peter’s Perform Career Saving Operation

December 2011

Samuel Sturt, an acrobat from Chertsey, who has previously competed in both national and international gymnastic championships, could continue his career thanks to Orthopaedic surgery at St Peter’s Hospital.

The operation to save Sam’s right knee was conducted by Consultants David Elliott and Paul Trikha at the end of January 2011. They repaired an injury to his meniscus and further damage to his prepatellar. After surgery, Sam was on crutches for just less than three months and flew straight out to join a team of acrobats in the show Pirates Adventure in Majorca, Spain.

Ashford & St Peter’s know how to serve up Christmas

December 2011

As Christmas fast approaches, staff at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are getting into the festive spirit and treating patients to a whole range of Christmas delights.

The catering contractors at the Trust, OCS Group, are responsible for serving approximately 800 traditional Christmas lunches, which includes turkey and all the trimmings, as well as donating patient hampers to all the wards. In total some 3500 items will be delivered to the hospital, with such seasonal produce as satsumas, mince pies, shortbread and cranberry juice, not to mention an abundance of Christmas crackers and Christmas napkins. In total they serve in excess of 150kg of potatoes and vegetables for the Christmas lunches.

Professor retires after 28 years at Trust

December 2011

Professor Mark Britton, Respiratory Consultant, has certainly seen things change in the NHS throughout his long and established career. After 28.5 years of dedicated service at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, ‘The Prof’, as he is affectionately known as by his colleagues, is retiring from the Trust, but will continue with his other work interests and spend more time with his family.

Reflecting back, Professor Britton said: “Things were certainly different in 1983 when I started at St Peter’s. My first additional task was Chairman of the Medical Records Sub Committee and one of our first jobs was to computerise the hospital, which was no easy task!”

First Anniversary as a Foundation Trust

December 2011

Dr Foster’s Hospital Guide for 2011, published on 28th November, reports continued low mortality rates at Ashford & St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Trust Medical Director Dr Mike Baxter, comments: “We welcome Dr Foster’s Good Hospital Guide which, importantly, demonstrates continued low mortality rates at Ashford and St Peter’s across a range of conditions. The new Summary Hospital-level Mortality Index published by Dr Foster reports a score of 90 for the Trust [where 100 would be the expected level], taking into account variables like age, type of illness, demography and other factors. This is good news for our patients and shows that Ashford and St Peter’s continues to be a safe place for care and treatment.”

Dr Baxter continues: “More specifically we know that our stroke mortality figures are also lower than expected, (currently 98.5 where 100 would be the norm), and in percentage terms our mortality rates have gone down significantly from 2.9% a few years ago to just 1.8%. We are particularly successful at early intervention and diagnosis and in the latest NHS audit report from the Royal College of Physicians – based on data collected between July and September 2011 - we are ranked in the top 25% of hospitals in the country for treating stroke patients, and are the top performing trust in Surrey.

Clinical Examination Award from the MRCP(UK) for Trust

December 2011

The MRCP(UK), Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom, recently came to Ashford Hospital and presented the Trust with an award plaque in recognition of their commitment to the MRCP(UK) Part 2 Clinical Examination (PACES) – widely considered as one of the toughest physician tests in the country.

Consultant Mike Irani and his Rheumatology team over at Ashford, including Research Coordinator Marie Buckley, the overall organiser of MRCP, and Senior House Officer Parijat Roy, plus nurses, consultants and secretaries across the Trust, were praised by the MRCP for their efforts. The MRCP have been consistently impressed with the exceptional hosting skills and organisational ability of those involved.

Tottenham Hotspur makes a donation to Chaucer Ward at Ashford Hospital

December 2011

On the 8th November, Lisa Thomas (Ward Manager) and Lynn English (Ward PA) from Chaucer Ward at Ashford Hospital were invited down to White Hart Lane, home of Tottenham Hotspur, to receive a cheque for £2,500. This money was donated by Spurs for some photographs of the famous sixties football player Danny Blanchflower that were originally given to Chaucer Ward to sell.

Celebrating the Breast Cancer Service Pledge

November 2011

On Friday 25th November 2011, Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust launched a special Service Pledge for their breast cancer patients.

The Service Pledge is a tool that was designed by the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer to help hospitals improve their services based on patient feedback and involvement. Breakthrough works closely with each hospital to establish what is important to patients, and then supports hospital staff to make the right improvements to their service.

Stop and think – that’s the message from A&E!

November 2011

Do NOT come to A&E unless you really need to! That’s the message from Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to the public following several days of intense activity in the St Peter’s Hospital Accident and Emergency Centre.

A spokesperson for the Trust said: “We are currently experiencing unprecedented high levels of activity in our Accident & Emergency department at St Peter’s, and this is putting increasing pressure on our services and causing long waits for non-life threatening conditions in A&E.

“We would like to ask the public to think twice about whether a visit to A&E is really necessary, or if they could use the services of their GP or local Walk-In Centre instead. The A&E department should only be used when people have suffered trauma, had an accident or have developed a serious illness and are unable to receive advice from their local pharmacist, GP or Walk-in Centre.

It is really important that people understand the right place to go for advice and treatment, so our accident and emergency department can concentrate on dealing with those who need urgent and often life saving treatment.”

The public are urged to seek advice from their pharmacist; GP; Ashford, Woking or Weybridge Walk-In Centres; NHS Direct on: 0845 4647. For further information on how to choose the right service see the NHS Choose Well campaign at:

Trust submits plans to acquire Epsom Hospital

November 2011

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has now confirmed the submission of their plans to potentially acquire Epsom Hospital and become a larger, three hospital Foundation Trust.

Chief Executive of Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Andrew Liles, comments: “Last week the Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals Trust Board approved our detailed plans to acquire Epsom Hospital and create a new, larger NHS Foundation Trust which we believe would provide a strong long-term future for local health services.

Part of our bid involves partnerships with the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Central Surrey Health and Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, bringing added benefits to Surrey patients and creating an innovative campus approach for Epsom hospital. The Transaction Team, based at NHS London, will spend the next 2-3 months assessing our plans against their objectives for Epsom and the criteria they have developed with staff and local stakeholders before making a final recommendation.

Making a Difference at the Trust

November 2011

Occupational Health Physiotherapy Service for Staff is making a difference at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals.

Since 1st May this year, Ashford and St Peter’s have been running a new physiotherapy service specifically for staff. The new service, run in conjunction with the Trust’s Occupational Health department, offers staff members easy access to assessment and treatment. This includes a weekly drop-in clinic, which gives hospital employees the opportunity to take responsibility for their own health without having to take time off work.

New mortality index shows we are a safe hospital trust

November 2011

A new hospital mortality indicator – published last week by the NHS Information Centre - shows Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation trust is a safe hospital trust, with a lower than expected mortality index. The Trust received a score of 90 [where 100 would be the expected level], which takes into account of variables such as age, type of illness, social demography and other factors.

The Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) was developed by the NHS Information Centre after recommendations from the Francis Review following events at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. For the first time, the indicator considers all deaths that take place both in hospital and within 30 days of patients being discharged, offering a more comprehensive picture of deaths following hospital care.

New patient reminder service is a great success

October 2011

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals has been busy reminding patients about their upcoming appointments and has seen a significant reduction in the number of people not attending as a result.

Since the introduction of the Appointment Reminder Service, the number of missed appointments in Outpatients has reduced to 7.9%, which is over 30% less than this time last year.

The initiative also aimed to reduce clinic waiting times and improve the experience of patients – which it is so far proving to do well. The Trust has received a vast amount of positive feedback, with patient comments such as: “That's very good that you do remind people and I find that it’s an excellent service", to: “I've never had a phone call to remind me before - that’s a really good idea."

Trust Wins Award for Home Monitoring of Pacemaker Patients

October 2011

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Cardiology Department is the proud receiver of the ‘Silver Award’ for being the first centre in the UK to register over 100 active users on the Biotronik Home Monitoring systems for pacemaker and ICD (Implantable Cardiovertor Defibrillator) patients.

The team were presented with the award at a short ceremony at St Peter’s hospital on Friday 21st October. Ian Clement, Lead Cardiac Physiologist at the Trust, commented: “This pacemaker and ICD service we run using the manufacturer Biotronik is currently at 138 patients. We are the biggest centre for Biotronik Home Monitoring and only need to have 150 patients to receive the ‘Gold Award’.” In August 2010 there were approximately 80 patients using the service, and since then Ian has driven this forward by recommending home monitoring to all appropriate patients.

Epsom Hospital

October 2011

Following the announcement [on 5th October] by the Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust that they will no longer be submitting a bid for Epsom Hospital, Chief Executive of Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Andrew Liles, comments:

“We are continuing to prepare our bid to potentially partner Epsom Hospital, and to explore the benefits such a merger could bring to Surrey patients and to staff. In doing so, we are enjoying working with staff and stakeholders at Epsom to plan a long-term future for a new, successful NHS Foundation Trust.

At this stage, we intend to submit our bid prior to applications closing on 11 November 2011. The final decision will ultimately be judged on a range of criteria focusing on the interests of local patients and staff.”

Local people demonstrate interest in hospital services

September 2011

Around 100 people joined Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals yesterday evening at their Annual General Meeting, held at Ashford Hospital.

Chairman Aileen McLeish, commented: “I and the Board were delighted that so many people were able to join us last night, and with the real interest the local community clearly has in our two hospitals. We were also pleased to see many members of staff in the audience. Last year was one of the most successful years ever for Ashford and St Peter’s, and it was rewarding to share our achievements with members of the local community.

Almost a year ago we became a Foundation Trust, passing new and tougher quality standards set by the regular, Monitor, and earlier this year we were nominated as a CHKS top 40 hospital. Most importantly we know we continue to provide high quality care and treatment to our patients, demonstrated in the 2010 Dr Foster Good Hospital Guide, our improving patient survey results and our continued achievement of key national targets.”

Care Leadership in NW Surrey

September 2011

Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals have recently received the delivery of three mobile and height adjustable computers for patients who need a British Sign Language service. There will be two of these computers at St Peter’s, with one in A&E and the other on Abbey Wing, and one at Ashford in the Outpatients department.

Matron for Outpatients at St Peter’s, Diane Lashbrook, is exceptionally pleased with the new mobile computers, and states “These computers are a great benefit for patients who need to communicate via signing”. Diane also explains how the Trust went about obtaining these systems, “…with funds allocated from the Disability Access Group, I made a proposal that these would be a good investment. This was accepted and we ordered the computers so we can provide 24/7 online access to British Sign Language. I believe we are one of the first Trusts to offer this service to our patients.”

Mobile British Sign Language Computers now available at Trust

September 2011

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been driving integration work in North West Surrey, where clinicians from primary, community, acute and mental health care, along with colleagues from social services and NHS Surrey, have been working together since October 2010 to develop a more joined up way of delivering care to patients.

The Trust has been instrumental in driving and supporting this work which has significantly improved relations between organisations and clinicians. One important bi-product has been to identify the need to develop the right calibre of leaders to take this work forward, resulting in the development of the North West Surrey Future Leaders Programme which has been funded by the South East Coast Strategic Health Authority.

New Bariatric Surgical Procedure at St Peter’s Hospital

September 2011

From Friday 9 September, St Peter’s Hospital will be able to offer a new bariatric surgical procedure to patients who need a gastric bypass. Such patients, who need to lose weight in order to maintain a healthy life, will benefit from being able to have the surgery locally in Chertsey.

Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is the only recognised provider of bariatric (obesity) surgery in Surrey. Patients travel from as far as Kent and London, as well as locally from Middlesex and Berkshire, for our current services. We have a long history of providing gastric banding surgery and from September we can offer patients the full range of weight loss surgery.

Mr Samer Humadi, Consultant Surgeon for Upper GI and Bariatric at Ashford and St Peter’s, explains, “This new keyhole procedure will dramatically improve the risk of health issues related to obesity, such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as reducing excess weight by an average of 60 to 70%.”

More information about Bariatric Surgery

Link to website Link to website