Bright future for hospital trust

Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson

The man who has led East Surrey Hospital through vast improvements in care could be leaving in March.

In the same week he was praised by councillors about the positive changes he has made at the hospital in Redhill, Michael Wilson, the chief executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH), announced his position was being advertised as his two and a half year contract nears its end.

The hospital is also heading towards Foundation Trust status, a process which has to be complete by April 2014, Mr Wilson said he is positive about its future and will be applying for the new position of chief executive.

He said: “[Advertising the position] is part of the process the Trust has to carry out to go down the Foundation Trust route.

“I’ll be applying for the post and I’m sure the board will make the right appointment.”

As a Foundation Trust, SASH would be set free from Central Government control. It would be self governing and able to determine its own future. A board of governors made up of members of the public and patients would be put in place to make it more accountable to the public.

Mr Wilson described it as a ‘fantastic opportunity’.

He said: “It’s a mark of the progress the Trust has made. The Department of Health feels we are going to deliver.

“This is a rubber stamping that we are clinically and financially sustainable.

“Working with the board of governors and members the hospital becomes a much stronger part of the community. It gives us more flexibility to manage assets and deliver services.

“What we have to do is listen to what people are telling us and work with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) so we develop integrated services.

“The changes we have made are in response to what patients have been telling us.”

On his watch there has been £50million investment from the Government to add new wards, a new day surgery department, new theatres and radiotherapy units, as well as modernisation of the main entrance, which now has a reception, newsagents and chemist.

Speaking of the improvements under his leadership he said: “I’m delighted for the staff and more for the patients. I think the patients deserve it.

“The new wards don’t add capacity, but they take beds out of corridors. It was not acceptable to have 70-80 patients in corridors.

“We have got the capacity to better than it was. There are still challenges and we have got to respond to patients’ needs in a different way.’’

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