The beginning of September was a major milestone for me, marking the end of my three year term as Chairman.
I am very grateful to the Governors for agreeing to a further three year term and David has kindly lent me the message this week so I can share some of my reflections and thoughts going forward.
It's certainly been an eventful, challenging and for me, highly enjoyable, three years. The journey started with an unannounced CQC inspection and a visit from the then Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt in the first two weeks and has ended with us facing and coping so well with the first wave of a pandemic.
The time in between has seen many highlights, particularly in meeting as many of you as possible and understanding the multitude of the services we offer whilst seeing first hand our 4Ps values in action - never more so than during the pandemic. We have celebrated a multitude of external awards together and, of course, our own staff awards ceremonies with last year's event at Sandhurst being particularly poignant, as I returned to Old College so many years after receiving the Queens Commission there.
Other stand out events include the launch of our "Together we Care" strategy and the first ASPH Community Day at St Peter's Hospital, where it was a joy to see the positive reaction, interest and support of the public first hand. I must also mention another couple of favourite activities - the annual photography competition and "Decorate a Door" competition at Christmas!
There have, of course, been multiple challenges along the way. We had a tough last winter and the Norovirus outbreak made it doubly so but none of us dreamed of what we would face from March this year. I have been impressed and humbled as to how everyone has worked together to look after our patients and each other at a time of unprecedented pressure. We have all felt the pain of losing patients, beloved colleagues and for some, family and friends, to this virus. As a team we have supported each other to work through the trauma and the physical, mental and emotional exhaustion and of course we continue to do so.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the work you have done and are continuing to do as we face winter and rising cases in the community. If we keep living by our values and look after each other, we will continue to deliver great care to our patients and the community we serve. "Patients First" is essentially why we are all committed to the NHS and come to work with such dedication and passion.
I have been privileged to work with such talented and passionate Board colleagues and our wonderful, dedicated Governors, who care so much about our hospitals and volunteer their time willingly. Despite facing times of immense demand and challenge, we must never miss the opportunity to recognise and celebrate our success.
I have also been lucky to work with great colleagues in the wider local health system and being part of Surrey Heartlands Integrated Health and Care System as it emerged. Now more than ever, system working is the way forward and getting to know the key representatives and their issues so I can more effectively represent Team ASPH has been essential and very rewarding.
So in summary I look forward to my next three year term and to working closely together with you all as we deliver on our strategy, develop our services, deliver great care and continue to take the opportunity to recognise and celebrate our successes along the way.
With best wishes,