It's been a case of going back to the floor recently for the chief operating officer at Redhill's East Surrey Hospital.

For Paul Bostock has spent time as a porter, transporting patients from the wards and Fracture Clinic to undergo diagnostic tests.

Mr Bostock is the second health chief at the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust-run hospital to put himself in the shoes of staff and go ‘back to the floor’ as part of a Trust campaign focusing on ‘compassion in leadership.’ Mr Bostock said: “I really enjoyed spending a morning with the portering team. “It made me really appreciate just how hard they work moving patients around our busy hospital to all the different departments, and the importance of their role in making sure patients get their investigations and treatments on time.”

He continued: “It was also a good opportunity for me to talk directly to the patients and to find out how they found their experience at East Surrey Hospital.

“It was very pleasing to hear patients talking so highly of the staff and the quality of care they were given.”

He added: “I am planning to spend half a day with the team every four to six weeks, as I found it a very enjoyable and useful experience to see first-hand how the hospital works from the perspective of the staff on the ground.”

The Trust campaign will see the executive team working in a variety of clinical areas and departments as part of a wider initiative focusing on staff behaviour and cultural change.

By putting themselves in the shoes of their colleagues and viewing a situation from a new perspective, the team hope to gain a more in-depth understanding of the role of staff across the Trust and any issues they may face. Each executive will summarise their learning experience in a short reflective account which will be published as a blog and also presented at the Trust’s monthly staff meeting.

Later this month, deputy chief executive Paul Simpson will spend time in the hospital's Fracture Clinic and plaster room.

Senior leaders within the Trust will be encouraged to follow suit later this year.