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New chief nurse takes up post at Surrey and Sussex acute trust


A new chief nurse has started in her post at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust with a pledge to draw up a nursing and midwifery strategy.

Susan Aitkenhead started work at the trust on 10 January, according to latest trust board papers.

“Susan brings with her a raft of experience in caring for patients and I know she is looking forward to joining our great team of nurses and helping us further improve our patients’ experience,” the board was told.

Ms Aitkenhead has previously been associate director for nursing at Imperial College Healthcare Trust in London and has also recently worked as executive director of nursing and midwifery in Australia.

In a statement, she said: “One of the first things I am doing is to establish a SASH nursing and midwifery strategy to clearly demonstrate the positive difference we make to patient outcomes, experience and care.”

The strategy will incorporate the principles set out in the national nursing strategy Compassion in Practice, which is focused on the 6Cs, she added.

“I am running forums with the trust’s nurses and midwives to get their ideas and proposals so everyone can be personally involved in shaping and owning important strategy,” she said.

Ms Aitkenhead also said: “We need to identify how we disseminate good practice and innovation, and ensure we work as one to drive out any inequities in care and experience across the trust.

“Key to this is learning from each other and externally, and being transparent and honest, particularly when things don’t go as well as they should – and everyone being empowered no matter what their role, to have their voice heard and their suggestions put forward.”


Readers' comments (8)

  • Good luck Susan, I hope she goes back to the shop floor occasionally and I hope she has balls of steel!

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  • SASH nursing and midwifery strategy

    please could somebody tell me what SASH is and what the strategy is. I can only presume from the text it is related to the six 'Cs' but know nothing more about it.

    A google search and search of the nursing sites revealed nothing on this.


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  • from above

    how come DH,RCN, NMC, the NHS and google cannot come up with anything on SASH entering this as a key word and then entering the full name of the strategy as mentioned in the article?

    How come the RCN have nothing on Mid Staffs beyond 31 January 2013 when they announce they will respond to the report of 6th Feb. (presumably the Francis Report)? Why don't they keep their web pages up to date?

    I wonder whether my membership is really still justified as they do so little for their members. the only reason I really keep my membership is for their online library where one has free access to journals and search engines which are not normally available without subscription.

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  • From the two comments above

    have eventually tracked down SASH.

    I had understood it was some new nursing model similar to some of the traditional ones but connected with the new Six Cs!

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  • Sorry but I have to ask --nurse or sycophant?

    The C's are nonsense ---- what is important is to have adequate numbers of RN's on the wards ! Are you committed to ensuring that?

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  • Hello
    SASH stands for Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, and the strategy was launched on Friday. It will be available on the Trust website today.

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  • Anonymous | 14-May-2013 8:44 am

    Many thanks. I think that was my post above.

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  • Dear Susan,
    May I have your e-mail sent to my personal e-mail as I wish to bring an area of concern to your attention and ask your advice.

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