Fiona Dalton, CEO

Chief executive's blog - 11 August 2015

I always think that early August is not the easiest time of year in a hospital. We have the usual challenges of holiday periods, and sadly the hospital is always particularly busy at this time of year looking after patients who have been involved in outdoor accidents across the region.

At the same time we are also introducing a large number of newly qualified doctors into our clinical teams. We want to give this new generation of doctors a very warm welcome at UHS and I know that clinical teams across the trust are working extra hard to support them while keeping services running smoothly.

On top of these usual August issues, the national climate is particularly difficult this year, and as has been reported in the national press, the whole NHS, and indeed the public sector, is under unprecedented financial pressure.

So it’s more important than ever for us all to keep being inspired and motivated, and to believe that we can make a difference.

Usually I get my inspiration from individuals and teams within this hospital, their commitment to patients and their constant energy to improve our services. But last Thursday evening I received a very powerful email, from a patient who was treated here a year ago for a very aggressive form of cancer. He had promised to write to his team a year after his surgery, and he did indeed do so. Because I found his words so profoundly inspirational, I have obtained his permission to include an extract here from his message to the clinical team who cared for him:

" I will NEVER forget any of you and how much you helped me, how professional you all were and how you got me through a nightmare.

Much as I wish I had not had a chance-in-a-million Amelobalstoma, much as I wish I hadn’t had to go through it all, much as I still think of it and shudder, there’s part of me that would not have missed the ride for the world. And that part is about you and your colleagues.....who gave me the strength to get through it, every minute of every day I was with you.

I could NEVER thank you enough for all that you have done for me (and not just the genius surgery). Anyway, very corny I know but absolutely true ……. what gave me peace, what popped into my mind, was the end of Saving Private Ryan – when Tom Hanks says,

“Ryan ….. Make it count” "

Reading this on Thursday evening, at the end of a long day, was a very emotional moment for me.

We have 10,000 staff and 1,000 volunteers in our team. We have £650 million this year. There is nothing easy about what we are trying to do. But we can make it count.

Fiona Dalton


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Page comments

Anonymous (19/09/2015 05:03:44)
I have just read that lovely comment and it also had an emotional impact on me!

They really do keep our heads up knowing we are able to make it count!
Anonymous (17/08/2015 18:06:40)