Fiona Dalton, CEO

Chief executive's blog - 6 May 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

This week I wanted to update everyone on our planned changes around the front entrance of the hospital.

Firstly, in June we will be starting to redevelop the main entrance - including creating a better reception area that is more welcoming to patients. We’ll also be changing the shops and we hope that we’ve got the right balance between providing the facilities that patients, visitors and staff want, whilst also playing our part in encouraging healthier eating.

The really important thing about this redevelopment is that it isn’t costing us (the NHS) any money. We are very short of capital funds, and we need to use the capital that we do have on our highest priority equipment and buildings. The Trust has therefore worked with private sector partners to organise all the funding for the new main entrance.

Inevitably, the rebuilding project will be disruptive and inconvenient for us all – thank you to everyone in advance for their patience with this. I am sure that the temporary disruption will be worth it to create a new front entrance, which will make a real difference to patients at UHS.

However, we hope that very soon there will be another building project at the front entrance that will make a difference not just to UHS patients but to patients across the world.

One of the areas in which the University of Southampton (supported by UHS) is internationally known is cancer immunology. This very exciting area of scientific research is about literally using the body’s own defences to fight the cancer cells. Researchers here in Southampton have been leading players in cancer immunology for 40 years and they are playing a really important part in the global effort to find a cure for cancer. Much of modern science is so complicated and sophisticated that it is hard to envisage, and impossible to actually see ourselves.

However, unusually, we have an amazing video clip where you can see some 'Killer T Cells' seeking out and destroying the cancer cells. If, like me, you grew up thinking that PacMan was the most exciting computer game ever then this video will take you back to your childhood. It's a beautiful illustration of this biological process and if you have a spare 30 seconds I would very much recommend watching it.

Because the cancer immunology research in Southampton is so promising, the University has launched a fundraising campaign to build a dedicated cancer immunology centre outside our main entrance, next to the Somers cancer building. The campaign's slogan is "the cure for cancer - you're it": a nice summary of the concept of using an individual's own immune system to attack the cancer cells in their body.

Of course we'll do everything that we can to support the University in this campaign, which will help to increase the number of cancer trials for our patients here at UHS, and we believe ultimately increase the survival chances of cancer patients across the world.

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

Dear Mr Entwistle,
I'm very sorry that you're not happy with the care that your partner has received here and I will certainly contact you to hear about your concerns.
With best wishes
Fiona Dalton (20/05/2015 12:46:51)
I have never read such smug nonsense, though it's pretty much what I've come to expect through recent experience. If the CEO wants to know what a patient's real world experience is like in Stanley Graveson Ward, please ring me (the patient's partner).
Roy Entwistle (18/05/2015 18:28:11)
It is fantastic to see the support for the campaign from Fiona Dalton and the Trust. The aim is to raise £25m to open the new Centre in 2017 and everyone can make a difference. You can follow the campaign's development on facebook ( and twitter ( #YoureIt or read more about the campaign at

Susanna Brenchley (13/05/2015 10:23:25)
Dear Fiona Dalton,

I have recently been unfortunate enough to have to visit both the General and Princess Anne Hospitals in Southampton on several occasions.

For me, being both patient and visitor, is fraught with difficulties the worst being the parking provision which is both extremely expensive as well as causes me great anxiety in (a) finding a space and (b) actually parking in it.

Recently my 8 1/2 month pregnant daughter parked at the Princess Anne Hospital between two cars - the space between both cars and my daughter's was about a foot, however when she came out from her appointment, both cars had been replaced by two others and the spaces had shrivelled to about 6 inches. There was no way she could get in her car; she ended up crawling through the boot (after re-arranging the seats) and climbing over the front seats before being able to drive away.

The situation is similar the main hospital car park; spaces are at a premium and also far too small for the average family car let alone one of the larger cars that are so popular these days.

As for myself, I had an appointment last week in Victoria House at 3pm; I arrived 3/4 hour early as I wanted to be certain to park and get to the appointment early - silly me, I, along with many others, spent that 3/4 hour or more circling the hospital trying to find a space. In the end I joined a huge queue to the main car park and again circled until I could nip into a space. This left me with a dilemma, how to get to Victoria House. There is no direct route to the House from the car park, the Emergency Department is cordoned off between the two buildings; plus my walking ability is extremely limited. The only way through is to go into the main hospital and if you know how to thread your way through various floors and corridors you will eventually reach it. By the time I got to my appointment I was exhausted and tearful and in no fit state to speak rationally to my consultant about my physical problems.

I realise I shouldn’t expect to have a wonderful experience in hospital, but absolutely dread the thought of parking there particularly whenever my husband is taken seriously ill - last year his admittance was directly into Resuss about six times and then kept in hospital up to a week whilst he is diagnosed and treated. I worked out that it cost me over £25 for a week’s stay, paying for this whilst on a pension is not funny.

My daughter is currently in The Princess Anne Hospital before her term is up as she has been declared to be ‘high risk’, so daily visits costing an arm and a leg for probably a week or two but no guarantee of even getting a space or of getting out of a space once in one.

So sorry you have to listen to my gripes, I guess you probably hear more moans about the car parking situation than anything else at the hospital, my big question is, is anything ever going to be done about easing the situation?

With best wishes,
Hazel Paul
10th May 2015
Hazel Paul (10/05/2015 16:43:28)