Jeremy Hunt gets into scrubs and mucks in at Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital

Jeremy Hunt gets into scrubs

The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, visited the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in Stanmore, Middlesex and assisted staff on a number of tasks during his surprise visit last week. Whilst meeting with a range of clinical and non-clinical staff to discuss a variety of healthcare issues and answer their questions, he also took the opportunity to receive his flu vaccination.

Mr Hunt was met by Director of Nursing, Camilla Wiley, and Medical Director, Matthew Shaw, who showed Mr Hunt the Paediatric Acute Care Unit, recently opened in April 2013. Following his own request to undertake some hands-on work, Mr Hunt changed into scrubs and was introduced to the portering team. He joined them in transporting paediatric patients from theatre recovery back to their ward and ensured they were comfortable and reassured. He also spent some time talking with nursing and portering staff about their work.

Mr Hunt then moved on to the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre (LSCIC). LSCIC specialises in the acute management, rehabilitation and reintegration of patients with a spinal cord injury and he helped the staff on the unit feed patients, including those with acute spinal injuries such as Geoffrey McNeshie, 52. Mr Hunt heard from staff and patients about the care and treatment provided by the centre and was impressed both by the positive attitude shown by the patients and the dedication of the staff.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

“I go out every week to meet frontline staff and find out what they’re doing. We have the fairest health system in the world and I want to ensure it is also the best. The staff at the RNOH are truly committed and hard-working and it’s been a privilege to spend time with them and learn more about their valuable work."

After helping feed patients on LSCIC, Mr Hunt was met by RNOH Chief Executive Rob Hurd and Trust Chair Prof Anthony Goldstone before joining several members of staff from a variety of grades and professional groups for an informal conversation. Still in his scrubs, Mr Hunt answered their questions covering a range of issues including the extensive redevelopment plans for the RNOH, quality and patient safety, the NHS reorganisation, joint commissioning, and training for nurses.

During the discussion with RNOH staff, compassion, quality and safety were some of the key topics covered and Mr Hunt emphasised that they were priorities for him:

RNOH Chief Executive, Rob Hurd, explained the plans for the redevelopment of the RNOH Stanmore site to Mr Hunt, where many of the buildings are not fit for purpose. Mr Hurd said: “The Secretary of State’s visit was a good opportunity for us to showcase the world class care we provide to our patients despite the poor estate in which we operate. Our low infection rates and good outcomes for patients are testament to the commitment and expertise of our specialist staff”.

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