Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health visited East Surrey Hospital on Thursday and spent time working as a healthcare assistant on Capel ward.
Whilst on the ward he helped prepare patients for lunch by handing out hand wipes and serving meals as well as completing the meal reports to document how much food the patients had eaten.
Afterwards he joined chief executive Michael Wilson, chairman Alan McCarthy and local MP Crispin Blunt for a round table discussion with a number of clinicians and support staff.
Jeremy Hunt said: “I like taking part in duties when I visit hospitals – I think I learn a lot more that way than sitting behind a ministerial desk.
“I have been really impressed by what I have seen this morning. It feels to me like an absolutely excellent trust with a really good atmosphere and fantastically patient centred.
“I think we really can see when people decide they want to turn things around that it can happen. It’s terrific to see what you have done, now what can I do to help you.”
He added: “This hospital is a great example, the people I have spoken to today all say they are very proud to work here. I met one member of staff who drives for three hours because this is the Trust he wants to work in.
Last year has been a tough year for the NHS and we have to be honest about the pressures and sort them out. We need to create a culture in our hospitals where they are on a ladder of improvement. What staff want is what we have here, a sense that the trust is going places, of things getting better.”