After six and a half years at Ashford and St. Peter’s Clive Thompson CBE steps down as an NHS Hospitals Trust Chairman today, 30th September 2008.

Writing in the Trust’s Annual report for 2007/08, published last week, Clive says: “No year has been the same, and it has always been rewarding and often humbling to be able to lead such a stimulating organisation. 2007-8 was been a year of significant achievement, which has been the culmination of the hard work and willingness to change which is a hallmark of Ashford and St. Peter’s. Our achievements are outlined throughout our annual report and include:

  • Building a financial surplus of £2.5 million and a sustained position delivered by the cost controls put in place.
  • 18 week targets to see all admitted and non-admitted patients met with some ease and the 4 hour target narrowlymissed when the definition was altered.
  • A firm grip on infection control and the Trust is full of signals that we intend to keep it there. MRSA cases reduced by 51.6 per cent, and after we were hit early by Norovirus, for the last eight months we have been 27 per cent below ourC.difficile guideline target.
  • We have continued to innovate, adding the new Stroke unit to the Rapid Access Centre. We have also refurbished areas of the core of Ashford Hospital including the new Breast Unit and the Eye Ward and Clinic. At St. Peter’s we have started knocking down the old Ramp and building the new £4.85m mortuary. We have also opened an eighth Neonatal Intensive Care cot.
  • We have had more births than ever before, and treated inpatients and outpatients at almost 460,000 visits to both hospitals.”

 

Mr Thompson continues: “This Trust is a very different place than it was six and a half years ago. We have changed from being a typical NHS ‘victim’ Trust to one keen to mould the future and embrace change. We have gone through major change and reconfiguration and are now building on a firm basis. It is particularly encouraging to see activity rising again at Ashford. This feeling of success does not just show in results, it shows in the confidence all around us. There is now a real opportunity to build on our success and move on to become a Foundation Trust

“So what of the future? For 10 years we have suffered from underfunding, but now, for the first time we have the financial strength, and can plan our future in a way which has never previously been possible. We are on track to become a Foundation Trust and I have no doubt that we will soon be seen as a leader in Surrey and South East health. I am now totally confident that most, if not all, of the patients’ benefits proposed as part of the now shelved merger with Frimley Park, can now be delivered by Ashford and St Peter’s on our own as a Foundation Trust. You will have a new Chairman and a new Board to lead you in facing the new Lord Darzi inspired quality-led NHS, and I wish you all well. My last six and a half years have been extremely enjoyable and never dull, and I now leave you in good health, good heart, and in good hands.”

Speaking at a farewell party for Clive yesterday, attended by staff both present and former Chief Executive Paul Bentley said: “Clive has led us through some really tough times. He has shown an incredible level of professionalism and diligence. He and his wife Joan will be missed enormously.” Incoming Trust Chairman Aileen McLeish added: “Clive’s contribution to Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals has been outstanding. He has brought to issues a broad perspective and made sure that the Trust has focused on the issues that matter. At the farewell party Clive was presented with a charcacture picture and his wife Joan was presented with a bouquet of flowers. Among the well wishers present was former Chief Executive Glenn Douglas (now at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospitals NHS Trust).