Uckfield Community Hospital League Of Friends

I am sorry for the delay in getting the Newsletter to the Website. I am pleased to say it has been a very active and productive time. As many you may know Bernard Trew has retired as Chairman of the Trustees, but we are delighted he is staying on as a Trustee. It is impossible to overstate his contribution to the Hospital and the League of Friends. He was as I am sure you know, the founding father of the project which saw the opening of the Hospital 25 years ago. Not only did he aspire to the concept of a brand new all “singing & dancing” hospital, but he worked tirelessly to help raise the money. If that was not enough he went on to be a trustee of the League of Friends, and then the Chair. In that time not only did he continue to raise money, but played a crucial role in distribution of the funds to improve the experience of staff and patients using the hospital. So, I think we all owe Bernard a resounding “thanks” for his amazing work and dedication.

The League has continued to help support small projects to make life easier and better for patients through numerous contributions normally in response to requests by staff. It also has been involved in a number of major expenditures. Recently a staff car park was completed. As you may know staff come and go during the working day, and we would rather they spent time with patients than trying to find a car par space! This development involved acquiring the land and laying the tarmac and placing the signage.

The latest major expenditure involves a huge upgrade to the Radiology Department (X-Ray). This is being stripped out in the next few weeks and replaced with a new digital system. This reduces the radiation dose, simplifies and speeds up access to the image. Amazingly because there are no chemicals involved, it will be significantly cheaper to run! The League of Friends feels that we must wherever possible maintain the best infrastructure we can, so that Uckfield Community hospital is where health care professionals want to come and work. This in turn provides an excellent health care service for the community.

Finally, as you know the hospital does not have an effective chief executive or manager, it exists as a building. As a community we hope services will be provided from the Hospital for the benefit of our population, and in general this is the case. However the outpatients and operating facilities have spare capacity. Although it may seem outside the League of Friends’ primary role, we feel as Trustees we must do everything in our power to not only help provide the infrastructure to attract services, but also “ask questions” to attract more services. To this end we are in involved in an on-going dialogue with the local CCG. We understand in the next few months the CCG will suggest improvements to the way services are managed in all the local Community Hospitals. Lewes for example is to become a Minor Illness unit, and fully integrated with the GP practices. This is unlikely to be the model for Uckfield, but clearly the hospitals need to have better communications with GPs, service providers and the CCG. The trustees are very keen to support any such enhancements.

We hope to have a small celebration of the Hospitals “Silver” Anniversary, but more of that later!