Fiona Dalton, CEO

Chief executive's blog - 11 August 2014

In my personal blog, I will keep you up to date on what is happening at the Trust, sharing what I think we are doing well and what we can improve.

Fiona Dalton, chief executive

When I was talking to people across the hospital last summer, to prepare for my job interview here, I was struck with how many times the 2020 Vision was mentioned. Given that it was written seven years ago, it's a real sign of success that it is still talked about, and seen as relevant.

Re-reading it, there are many ideas in it that are still high on the national agenda. The concept of being a place where we would want our family to be treated is now echoed in the national friends and family test, for instance. The drive to centralise specialist care, and where possible move other care into the community is still very much a national policy.

But other things have changed dramatically. The scandal of Mid-Staffs Hospital has forced the whole NHS to reflect and consider how we can make sure that this doesn't happen in our hospital. We have new stakeholders - in particular, Clinical Commissioning Groups. And technology has changed in unimaginable ways - when the 2020 Vision was written, for instance, the iPhone had yet to be invented...

So this is why we have agreed that it is time to review and refresh the 2020 Vision, and over the next few weeks I would very much welcome your input, and in particular your views on what is important for our vision going forward. I have already held some open staff meetings, and I will ensure that there are some more, which will be advertised on staffnet. We have also created an email account ( if you would prefer to put your views in writing. We will also of course be talking to external stakeholders about how they think we should be developing.

Then in the autumn we will publish a draft revised vision, for everyone to consider and debate.

I think the most important thing with any vision is to make it real, and connected to what we do every day. So as an example of the standard of care that I think our vision should be trying to achieve, this is an extract from a recent letter that I received:

"I wrote to you a little while ago to praise the care I was given by the oncology team for the first part of my care and treatment for oesophageal cancer. This included radiotherapy and chemotherapy for five weeks and everyone was wonderful.

Following this treatment I had eight weeks rest followed by radical surgery to remove my oesophagus and restructure my stomach to form a new oesophagus.

Again, I cannot praise (the) team of excellent surgeons enough. All procedures were carefully explained to me... nothing was rushed... giving me time for questions and answers. 

I was in High Care for ten days post op and couldn’t have had better care, if I were the Queen herself, by the nurses, doctors, physiotherapists and dieticians. Nothing was too much trouble and the patience and care shown to me was amazing.  

From day one of my diagnosis I have had (my) GI specialist nurse following me throughout. She is always there for me on the end of a phone and never lets me down, always dealing with any concerns promptly. I am now just three months post op and feeling great in body and in mind. I still have a way to go but feel happy and re-assured my specialist team are there for me. I hope it will be possible for you to please convey mine and my families extreme gratitude to the wonderful team who have helped me get through this major upheaval to my life.  

Southampton General Hospital is the absolute best.”

Fiona Dalton


We welcome your comments on this blog.

If you have any specific concerns or need advice about the care you have received at our hospitals, please contact our patient support services on 023 8120 6325 or

Please note the Trust reserves the right not to publish any responses which are offensive or inappropriate.

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