Chief wants to make hospital one of the best performing in country
The newly appointed chief executive of East Surrey Hospital wants to make it one of the best performing in the country.
Michael Wilson took temporary charge of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust two-and-half years ago when the hospital was considered one of the worst in the country.
But with a £14 million redevelopment programme and much improved care standards Mr Wilson has been credited with turning the hospital’s battered reputation around.
He said: “When I arrived I could see staff were very bright and able, but they had been told that the hospital wasn’t very good and if you tell people often enough then that’s how they feel. My view was that wasn’t the case.”
One of his most difficult moments was when an undercover Channel 4 Dispatches programme broadcast footage of an 80-year-old dying man being shouted at by nurses in February 2011.
Mr Wilson said: “It was very difficult. I was very new in the post and it was very difficult to manage with the media attention locally and nationally.
“But I think it was a good catalyst to make changes.”
A key challenge has been adressing the mismatch between demand and capacity at the hospital, which stems back to the merger of East Surrey, Crawley and Horsham NHS Trusts to create Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (Sash) and the loss of A&E services in Crawley.
This created new challenges with the different health needs of affluent East Surrey, multicultural Crawley and elderly Horsham.
But despite increased A&E capacity and new units, wards and beds Mr Wilson insisted hospitals cannot be the only solution.
He said: “As the population gets older the default position cannot always be a hospital, we have to be brave.
“The NHS is struggling, demand has gone up in huge ways. We have to think about how we can provide services closer to home. Otherwise hospitals will get bigger and bigger and I don’t think that’s particularly achievable.”
Part of the solution will be to work closely with the recently formed Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group, which commissions services according to patients’ needs, while things such as telephone consultations would reduce the pressure on East Surrey Hospital.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Crawley
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 6 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North