Fiona Dalton, CEO

Chief executive's blog - 23 January 2015

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

At times like this, when as a trust and an NHS organisation we're facing such operational and financial pressures, it's really tempting to think that we don't have time to bother about a vision and we just need to focus on the day to day.

But actually, I think that it makes a vision for the organisation even more important. A good vision will unite and inspire us all. It must be real about where we are now and the real challenges that we face. And it must describe, in a way that we can all believe, how we can move towards this vision.

Last summer we decided that it was time to review and refresh our 2020Vision. Although it was written in 2007, it's still widely quoted today, and its success was giving the trust the confidence to believe that we could be a true specialist centre. Many of its themes – for instance, the centralization of specialist services whilst moving other care out of hospital – are still highly relevant today.

However, other things have changed completely – in 2007 neither the CCGs nor the iPhone existed! On a sadder note, both the scandal at Mid-Staffs and the world economic crash were also still in the future. The world is now a very different place and I felt that it was time to reflect and review where we were now, and what we were trying to achieve.

So we've spent the last six months asking our staff and partner organisations what they think we're good at, what we need to do differently and what we should be aspiring to.

We need to start with what makes us special as a hospital. Firstly it's the people who work here who make us stand out, not just because of their qualifications or experience but because of the values they uphold. This is a distinguishing feature that is often observed by those outside the Trust – including the CQC in the course of their recent inspection. Our values will be at the heart of our vision because it's the people we attract and retain to work here who will be the difference between success and failure. By creating a caring organisation which reflects the core purpose and aspiration of our employees we will generate a positive working culture that will bring its own rewards.

Secondly, we can do things many others can’t. We've talked about how being open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and able to cope with any emergency is very special, and becoming rarer as treatment becomes more specialised. UHS combines this with the ability to fulfil the original NHS values of 'cradle to grave' – being here for the community throughout their lives, and for their children too. Again this is down to having fantastic staff who are not only motivated by the values of the NHS but are also incredibly experienced and skilled with a commitment to quality that drives them to be a bit better at what they do every day. 

These strengths are vital, as we cope with our current capacity and staff shortages, and we face, along with the whole NHS, the demographic pressures of an increasingly elderly population coupled with a financial challenge far greater than that which we have previously experienced.

Our vision sets out the things we now need to do to keep developing, and providing the care that the public deserve, in this very challenging world. I would urge you please to read it and let me know what you think. You can email or leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

The document is only a draft, and I'm sure some things will be wrong, some will need more emphasis and important points will have been missed out. We need to hear from you so that we can get this right. It won't work if this is my vision. It needs to be our vision, shared with our health and social care partners – something that we can all believe in.

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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Page comments

Thank you very much for your comments. I will contact you personally to understand your concerns.
Fiona Dalton (30/01/2015 16:47:40)
What I am failing to see is the NHS is failing big time no matter how much money is being injected.
My other half works at the General and has a back injury, from the work she does and she is not even considered fast tracking to get her back to work. Another nail in the NHS coffin, yet many times I here and read of people from other countries getting help and draining the Hospital funds. Also when are you going to endorse a code of if the patient cannot return home due to some stupid rule that they reqiure yet another home pack needs to be in place before the Nursing home or their offspring's home, should the NHS consider billing the patient on a daily basis as this is not a Hotel!
Neil Hartup (24/01/2015 17:48:13)