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  News - Epsom General Hospital, Epsom Surrey UK
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Guests raise their questions at Annual Public Meeting 2012
Date : - 06/09/2012

Audience at the Annual Public Meeting
More than 80 people including patients, members of the public and hospital volunteers joined us for our Annual Public Meeting 2012, which was held at St Helier Hospital on Tuesday night (4 September).

The event was an opportunity for guests to hear first-hand the strides the Trust has made to meet the Government's key standards, hear about plans for the future and listen to special talks from our staff and patients.

Matthew Hopkins, Chief Executive said: "We were delighted so many people were able to join us for our Annual Public Meeting and to hear what has been going on at our hospitals over the last 12 months.

"There were many notable achievements to highlight during the year, including being named as one of the safest hospitals in the UK by the independent Dr Foster Hospital Guide. We have also met the vast majority of the Government's key standards for healthcare, including ensuring our patients are treated promptly.

"For example, 97% of the 143,368 patients who attended our A&E (accident and emergency) departments last year were treated, admitted or discharged within a maximum of four hours - that's 2% better than the national standard of 95%."

Particular praise was reserved for staff and volunteers for their endeavour and professionalism in the face of a complex and challenging climate. Matthew added: "These are challenging times for our hospitals and the wider NHS, but I'd like to pay a personal tribute to all our doctors, nurses, midwives and other staff who have continued to work hard to provide the best possible care to patients.

"I'd also like to say a huge thank you to all of 446 volunteers who support services across our hospitals. We estimate they donate 68,256 hours per year to the Trust and their contribution, from fundraising to guiding patients around our hospitals, is invaluable."

Guest speakers included a patient, Kim (who wished to withhold her surname), who suffered a serious stroke in May of this year. She recounted her experience and spoke about the life saving treatment she received from the stroke team at Epsom Hospital.

Her speech followed a talk from stroke consultant, Dr Brendan Affley, who gave a presentation on the improvements the Trust has made over the last two years to help people who experience strokes. He also spoke about the signs and symptoms of the condition and how people can reduce their risk of having a stroke.

Other talks came from Mrs Carolyn Croucher, our lead clinician for obstetrics and gynaecology who spoke about our assisted conception unit, including the work of our IVF clinic. She was joined by two patients, Taya Pobjoy and Carly Russell, both of whom gave moving accounts of how we had helped them to get pregnant.

Trudie McGurran, our lead nurse for critical care also took to the floor to explain what a day in our intensive care unit (ICU) is like. ICU is where the sickest patients are treated, for instance after a major operation or serious accident.

Guests were invited to put questions to the Trust Board and other members of the executive team responsible for running our hospitals.

A myriad of issues were raised including the future of St Helier Hospital (as a result of Better Services Better Value, a project which is reviewing the way healthcare is provided across south west London) and how our finances will be managed when Epsom and St Helier hospitals de-merge in 2013.

And even people who couldn't make the meeting had the chance to get their questions answered with a live Twitter Q&A which ran throughout the event.

The Trust also officially launched its annual report for 2012-13 at the meeting. The document is free and gives an overview of the Trust's achievements over the last year and includes detailed information about our financial performance.
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