Fiona Dalton, CEO

Chief executive's blog - 26 February 2016

In my personal blog, I'll keep you up to date on what's happening at the Trust, sharing what I think we're doing well and what we can improve.

Fiona Dalton, chief executive

Our third value is 'always improving' and I believe that this is something that makes us particularly special as a hospital. Every team I talk to in UHS is always striving to be better, to try something new, to adopt the latest research or to give patients a better experience.

Just in the last couple of weeks I have met the supply chain team showing me their new automated stock control system in the cardiology and interventional radiology laboratories, and the hospital at night team talking about keeping patients safe 24/7. I have seen the new daily pharmacy technician staff huddle, and have taken Simon Stevens to see our innovative daily mortality review system (IMEG). I have celebrated with Ward E3 as they won 'team of the month', thoracic surgery as they hosted their national conference and the neuromuscular team as they were officially identified as a Centre of Excellence.

To 'always improve' we need everyone to be feel engaged, and we can see our progress on this in the recent staff survey. It's a real pleasure to see the long column of green crosses, each of which indicates a score which is either better than the national average, or (most importantly) better than our own scores last year.

But one question is fundamental - "Are you able to make improvements in your area at work?”. 85% of UHS staff answered yes to this question - an increase from 83% last year, and against a national average of 81%. My ambition is that this should be 100%, because everyone who works at UHS should feel able to be part of improving how we work for patients.

Finally, there's one thing that everyone can do in the next two weeks that could transform the environment for some of our patients. Last week we formally launched our ambition for a dedicated Children's Emergency Department, and you may have seen the press coverage.

Our children's emergency services receive very good feedback from children and families, and our paediatric major trauma service recently received an exemplary peer review, but we know that the estate does not match the standard of clinical care. The current small children's area within the emergency department is very cramped, and its separation from the paediatric assessment unit is far from ideal. 

We now have an opportunity to make a big step towards changing this, as all of our local MPs have come together to support a bid to the Chancellor to support this project in the March budget. We are asking the Chancellor to do what he did for another children's hospital last year, and match fund donations to a value of £2 million. 

If you would like to help build support for this important project, I would encourage you to urgently contact your MP and share your views about what a difference a dedicated Children's Emergency Department could make to children and their families across the region.

Thank you very much.

Fiona Dalton


We welcome your comments on this blog.

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Page comments

I absolutely agree that we need to improve support for staff and we have made this one of the key priorities in our vision. To give just one example, in May we will be launching our new programme for staff health and welfare - we are one of only 11 NHS organisations that is leading on this, and will be able to provide additional health support for all of our staff and volunteers.
But if you would like to come and talk to me personally about other things that you think we should be doing, please do email me. I am always keen to hear from staff across the hospital. Thank you.
Fiona (17/04/2016 18:36:27)
A great way to improve our services to patients, is to improve working life for staff, who have joined the NHS because they care and want to help people. Sadly working for the NHS costs a lot of staff their health, physical, mental and emotional - such is their dedication to helping others.
SO to improve your service, how do you plan to care for, support and help your staff?
Anonymous (29/03/2016 16:25:12)