Patients at Redhill's East Surrey Hospital could have been forgiven for thinking they were in a different kind of MP's surgery when East Surrey MP Sam Gyimah arrived at their bedsides.

For the MP was at the hospital last Friday (June 6) to volunteer as a nursing assistant.

Mr Gyimah, whose mother was a nurse, dived into tasks including cleaning hospital equipment and serving lunches on the Capel Ward. He also spent time talking to staff and patients at the hospital, which is run by Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and used by many of Mr Gyimah’s constituents.

Mr Gyimah said: “As the son of a nurse, I thought I knew what to expect, but spending time helping at East Surrey Hospital as a nursing assistant was a real eye-opener.”

He said: “Caring for frail and elderly patients on the Capel Ward, I was tasked with serving patients the lunchtime meal and cleaning the commode, and throughout my visit I was impressed by the diligence, care and enthusiasm with which the staff undertook their duties.”

Citing the hospital's over-all improvement in care standards in recent years, he continued: “East Surrey Hospital has turned a corner and today is meeting or exceeding its clinical targets. “After my time on the ward, I met with chief financial officer Paul Simpson to discuss the unannounced Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection the day before, and the challenges of managing a district general hospital at a time of increasing demand. “It is great to see that the hospital has a clear plan moving forward, and to continue improving the service provided to our community.”