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Letter: My Response to Royal Surrey Nurse

Published on: 10 Jan, 2022
Updated on: 10 Jan, 2022

From: Louise Stead

chief executive, Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust

In response to: ‘I Cry Every Day’ Says Royal Surrey Nurse

I would like to respond to the letter recently published by an anonymous Royal Surrey nurse who described working in very challenging circumstances. It is, of course, concerning to learn that a member of our Royal Surrey family is upset at work and we have again sent a separate letter to staff offering support to colleagues who may need it and encouraging anyone with concerns to come forward and flag them.

It was heartening to read the recognition that Royal Surrey has invested lots of time and money into staff wellbeing as looking after our workforce remains an absolute priority for us and to see how the community recognise the wonderful, safe and compassionate care our people provide to patients.

Of course, as is well documented through the media, it is an extremely challenging time in the NHS and all hospitals are managing difficulties with staff absences. Whilst we do have higher than usual numbers of staff currently absent, through sickness, vacancies or isolation, we do not recognise the figure of 30 per cent quoted in the article.

Our staff absence rate is actually below the national average and constantly monitored on a daily basis by our senior nurses and midwives who review every area and will move colleagues around, or bring in extra staff via bank shifts or agency, to ensure safe levels of staffing. This doesn’t detract, of course, from how it feels on the wards and I know our teams are feeling the extra burden of their usual colleagues being absent or moved into less familiar areas to work.

I also wanted to pick up on the point made around our international workforce. We are incredibly proud of our overseas colleagues, many of whom have made a home in Guildford and connections to the local community. Of course, some colleagues will move on to seek other opportunities but we have not lost large numbers of staff. We were also very fortunate to retain most of our European colleagues at the time of the EU exit, who remain a very valued part of our team.

Everything we do is with the safety of our patients and staff in mind. There is no doubt that things are pressured and difficult but our Royal Surrey family amaze me every day and I would like to thank every single member of our team for their dedication and compassion. I would also like to thank our local community for their ongoing support, which really does make a positive difference.



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Responses to Letter: My Response to Royal Surrey Nurse

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    January 10, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    I may hate the RSCH car parking practices but the staff can only reach 100% to be perfect, ie the best you can get, and that’s what the Royal Surrey has always supplied to me.

  2. Jeanette Smith Reply

    January 11, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    I feel so sorry for staff in hospitals at the moment, very stressful but I also hate the no visitor rule.

    It is so difficult to reach the ward by phone as obviously all visitors are ringing up instead. My 93-year-old mother with dementia has decided to stop eating as they give her things she does not eat like curry and pasta.

    I have told staff twice what she will eat but being ignored because of time it takes to do someone’s food order and Mum needs constant reminders to eat. If one visitor was allowed we could do this sort of job for staff.

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