Health chief Michael Wilson found himself stepping into the shoes of the cleaners who make sure Redhill's East Surrey Hospital is tops for mops recently.

Mr Wilson, the chief executive officer of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, got down to some serious scrubbing and steaming there with the hospital's Deep Clean Team.

He was following in the footsteps of fellow health chiefs at the hospital who have put themselves in the shoes of staff and gone ‘back to the floor,’ as part of a Trust campaign focusing on ‘compassion in leadership.’ The ‘Back to the Floor’ campaign sees the Trust's 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. Mr Wilson said: “On Friday last week I had the experience of working alongside our Deep Clean Team.”

He said: “I always have a spring in my step but after several hours of scrubbing and steaming every nook and cranny of the toilet areas I was assigned to, I was ready for a rest.

“I was extremely impressed by the professionalism of the team I worked with and the pride they take in their work.” He continued: “Being able to work alongside this team, which I don’t often get time to talk to, was a fantastic opportunity to learn new things and to gain a greater appreciation of the ups and downs staff face in their daily jobs.

“Carlos Campota and Vivlan Cheri taught me how to mop floors without getting a bad back – essential when you might have to mop many floors in one day.

“I know the cleaning teams at our hospital do a fantastic job and their work is often praised by national inspection teams, but spending time with the Deep Clean Team has given me new found respect for them and a greater appreciation of the work they do.”