Teams at Worthing Hospital welcomed the MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, Tim Loughton, and the Mayor of Worthing, councillor Jon Roser, on Wednesday 27 December.
The annual visit is an opportunity for the duo of dignitaries to meet patients and families in hospital for Christmas, as well as speak to staff working during the holiday period.
Hosted by Tori Cooper, director of nursing for Worthing and Southlands Hospitals, the tour included Burlington Ward, the Maternity Department, and new Medical Day Case Hospital.
Burlington is a special nurse-led ward that cares for patients who are medically ready to leave hospital, but who are waiting for a package of care to return home.
At the time of the visit, nearly 100 patients staying in Worthing Hospital had completed their medical care and were ready to leave, if the right support was available to them.
Sadly, many patients must wait a long time and the challenge for the Burlington ward team is to maintain both their spirits and strength while waiting for days and even weeks in bed.
Ward manager Terri Whiteside explained the many measures the team has introduced to keep their patients active and how they won an NHS England Emergency Care Improvement Support Team Award a couple of months ago.
Next on the tour was the Maternity Department, where staff proudly displayed their 2023 Patient First STAR Awards – Chairman’s Prize, awarded to maternity teams Trust-wide.
The visit included a new maternity triage unit, as well as Bramber Ward, the Birthing Suite, and the Obstetric Theatre, where C-sections take place.
Maternity matron and consultant midwife, Julie Carr, explained that nearly half of births now occur in the hospital’s obstetric theatre – but the birthing pools also remain popular.
Three babies were born on Christmas Day at Worthing Hospital, but all had gone to their new homes by 27 December – instead, the MP and Mayor met Rex, a Boxing Day baby!
The final stop was Amberley Unit, the hospital’s new medical day care hospital, which opened a year ago following a £7m investment in chemotherapy and broader day case care.
Consultant haematologist Dr John Laurie and director of nursing for Cancer services, Lisa Barrott, provided a tour of the new facility which was busy in the post-Christmas period.
Amberley Unit is much larger, brighter, and better equipped than the previous medical day care unit, which enables more patients to be treated, more quickly, for their cancer care.
Reflecting on their visit, both the Mayor, and local MP, commended the care and commitment of the staff they met, as well as the investment in innovation and new facilities they had seen at Worthing Hospital.
For more news about University Hospitals Sussex, please visit www.uhsussex.nhs.uk/news.