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In October 2014 Frimley Park and Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals came together to form Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust. This created a great platform to enable us to improve the services we provided for our patients, so I was delighted when I was appointed as Chair in April 2016, as this allowed me to work with the Trust’s Board and Council of Governors, to make this happen.

After seven challenging but incredibly rewarding years, it is now time for me to step down as my term of office has come to an end.

I have always believed that we are very lucky to have the NHS in this country, so it has been an absolute privilege and an honour for me to have served in it. I have had the pleasure of working with great people who are passionate about providing the best care and experience for our patients.

During my time as Chair, I have witnessed colleagues being truly heroic, always going above and beyond the call of duty, to do their very best for our patients This was especially true over the last three years as we have dealt with the Covid pandemic and all the other challenges that the pandemic created. I am full of admiration and praise for what our teams do, day in day out, and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to be their Chairman for the last seven years.

Frimley Health has a great Board and Council of Governors team and they deserve the credit for all that has been achieved in my time as Chair. Notable achievements include creating a five-year strategy, the new Emergency Assessment Centre at Wexham Park Hospital, the new Heatherwood Hospital and the launch of our new Electronic Patient Record system.

As I bid you farewell, I am pleased to be leaving the Chairmanship in the excellent and capable hands of Bryan Ingleby who was appointed following a rigorous recruitment process. I know Bryan will lead the Board in continuing to work on our strategy to truly make Frimley Health a great place to work for our people and for all the care needs of our patients.

Finally, I would like to thank each and every one of you for the interest and involvement you continue to show in Frimley Health. This is your Trust and the more involved you are in it, the better it is for all of us. I would also like to encourage you to invite your friends and family to also sign up as members. There are some really exciting years ahead for the Trust – and we would like to engage with as many of the people in our communities as we can.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Membership Manager, Sarah Waldron

Once again, it really has been a privilege and an honour for me to have served as your Chair for the last 7 years. God bless you and I hope he grants you and your family a healthy, happy and peaceful future.

Spring health event

It’s time to mark your calendar for the next health event, which will take place on the evening of Tuesday 18 April. The theme will be respiratory, led by chief of service for medicine and respiratory consultant, Gareth Roberts, talking about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). He will be joined by Joanne King, nurse consultant and lead for the Adult Integrated Respiratory team, who will discuss the exciting community services on offer for patients with COPD and other lung diseases – including the post discharge rehabilitation programme and the support we provide to help patients avoid admission to hospital.

Further details and the Teams link to the virtual event will be in next month’s enewsletter.

‘Virtual ward’ service sees 83% of patients avoid hospital admission

As the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced its plans to increase NHS ‘virtual wards’ across the UK last month, we revealed the success of our ‘at home’ service caring for patients in Farnham, North East Hampshire and the Surrey Heath areas.

We were one of the first Trusts in the country to introduce the ‘virtual wards’ service, providing acute hospital care to thousands of patients in their homes who may otherwise have been admitted to hospital. The service offers a similar level of care to a hospital ward, depending on the specific needs of each patient, and can carry out blood tests, give IV medication, take ECG readings, give a nebuliser or oxygen, perform therapy assessments and provide equipment to help patients’ mobility.

In the last seven months July 2022 to January 2023, a total of 774 patients have been cared for across local communities, with 635 of those (83%) avoiding hospital admission. The latest statistics also show better outcomes for patients and the average ‘length of stay’ reduced to less than 3.5 days, compared to 9.1 days in an acute hospital setting.

One patient’s family member said: ‘Exceptional care was given to my father. (The team) were very proactive and sorted out extra problems that they discovered on arrival including a blocked catheter….it is an excellent approach to patient care.”
Read more here

Heatherwood hailed in the media after waiting lists improve

TV news crews were back at Heatherwood last month to highlight its success as a dedicated centre for planned care. Teams from Sky News and BBC TV South filmed at the hospital for a feature on the year anniversary of the NHS Elective Recovery Plan, which was launched to tackle record national waiting lists. More elective care centres similar to the Heatherwood model will be built across the country to help reduce waiting times for planned procedures and the news crews used the hospital as a ‘best practice’ example.

Free app to help patients care for muscle or joint issues at home

Last month we launched a free app, getUBetter, to help patients with musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries and conditions manage symptoms at home. Designed by clinicians in Emergency Care and checked by multiple GP’s, Physiotherapists and Orthopaedic Consultants, getUBetter delivers evidence-based advice and lots of useful information to help people recover in the best way possible.

The getUBetter app can be used by anyone over 18 years, and offers help on all common muscle, bone and joint problems, including; back, back and leg, neck, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle pain and soft tissue injury. The app is available in 10 different languages and can be accessed through a dedicated website. 
Read on

February - our biggest ever online health event

We were delighted to have a record number of attendees join last week’s health event to see the main presenter Dr Peter Clarkson take us through the latest developments in the Trust’s cardiology department and the vision for the future of the service.

One of the latest initiatives, led by consultant cardiologist Dr Lydia Sturridge, is our new cardiology community hubs, where 12 local GPs have been given specialist training to deliver cardiology services to patients in their surgeries rather than a hospital.

The cardiology community hubs can carry out a range of investigations including ECGs, holter monitoring and blood pressure monitoring. The service was introduced last Monday at three hubs in Farnham, Maidenhead and Upton. Dr Sturridge explains more in this video.

If you missed the health event, you can view a recording here.

Run Frimley is back with a new venue for 2023

We’re delighted to welcome the return of the hugely popular Run Frimley charity event on Sunday 30 April. The location of year’s event is at Frimley Lodge Park, with new multi-terrain 5k and 10k races (featuring chip timing for all participants) and a ‘colourful’, fun-filled one mile family fun run.

The event is raising money for Frimley Health Charity’s Dementia Appeal to help transform the level of care dementia patients receive during their stay in our hospitals. The appeal aims to raise £850,000 over a 12 to 18-month period so that patients living with dementia in our area receive the best possible clinical and holistic care.

Further details and sign up.

Polish your parenting skills this spring with free online courses

Whatever stage of parenting you are at, you may wonder why your child behaves the way they do or how to you might handle a particularly challenging situation. We all have moments of doubt as parents which is why NHS Frimley is offering free access to several online courses to help support you on your parenting journey.

Accessible online 24/7, there are a range of parenting topics to help you - including ‘Understanding your pregnancy, labour and birth’, ‘Understanding your baby’ and ‘Understanding your child’s mental health and wellbeing.‘

Courses are available in English and Urdu. More information and sign up.