WE want the future of Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital to be in our hands, its matron has said.
Jo Habben said the bid for foundation trust status by the hospital’s operator, Sussex Community NHS Trust, was important.
She said: “Foundation status will give us more control over what we do.
“It’s about being able to make our own decisions. We will be able to run the services we know are important.
“It will give us real influence over how they are run, developed and funded.
“We will have more control over our financial accountability. We will be listening to the members of the foundation, who are the public, and the staff’s views will be important as well.”
The views received from the public about the trust application will be reviewed and responded to by the trust’s officers.
They will also be used in the formal application which the trust will make to the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, for foundation status.
If he supports the bid, it will be assessed by independent regulator Monitor, before it makes the final decision.
Bognor’s war memorial hospital was described by Jo as a jewel in the crown of the NHS.
“Hospitals such as Bognor have a very good future. We have got diagnostics on site, really good leadership and really good support from the Friends,” she said.
She followed her arrival at the hospital 18 months ago with a thorough review of its nursing services.
The result was a 20-strong team of new nurses and healthcare assistants who began a month ago. They filled a mixture of vacant posts and new positions.
Another advert for an additional intake, in single figures, has been published.
The extra staff have begun to make a difference to patient care.
“We need with some of the most vulnerable, elderly, frail and complex patients in the community,” Jo said.
“That need is ever growing and there are treatments available now which were not there ten years ago to enable people to live longer.”
Jo has instigated photoboards at the entrances to the hospital’s two wards so patients and their families can instantly see who is dealing with their care.
This sums up her passion for patient care which has carried her through a nursing career she started in 1984 at the age of 18.
The wards have 48 in-patient rehabilitation beds alongside the hospital’s array of outpatient clinics such as hydrotherapy, a 16-bed rheumatology unit, radiology and a musculosketal service as well as a minor injuries unit which sees some 8,000 patients a year. There are also phlebotomy, x-ray and PUVA skin services.
A renal unit is also on the Shripney Road site but is run by a Portsmouth-based section of the health service.
They all depend on the services provided by the facilities team such as cleaners. Jo is keen to stress the importance of each department to the overall running of the hospital.
“This is one of the hospitals where I have worked which really gels as a team,” she said.
“From reception to the Friends to the facilities team and all the services that are based here and their managers as well.”
For the full story see the Bognor Regis Observer out now (July 18).