Fiona Dalton, CEO

Chief executive's blog - 19 June 2017

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

The last few weeks have been tumultuous for the country, and the NHS in London and Manchester has been tested in the most extreme ways.

I think we have all watched the news of terrorist attacks, and the tragic tower block fire, with horror. I am sure I speak for everyone at UHS when I say that our hearts have been with the victims and their families and friends, and our thoughts have been with our NHS colleagues who have responded so magnificently in both cities.

Of course we have our own major incident plan, as does every hospital, and should the worst happen in Southampton we will be ready to do our absolute best in the same way as our colleagues have done across the country.

Our beloved Amanda Barnes

Amanda Barnes

Here at UHS we have faced our own personal tragedy. Our beloved Amanda Barnes, who worked here for so many years as a nurse and leader, ultimately as deputy director of nursing, died last week after a long illness.

The grief that I have seen across the hospital is entirely understandable to me as Amanda was a very special person, and her influence affected so many people.

For our first ever staff friends and family survey, three years ago, we included an extra local question which asked everyone to name a colleague who inspired them. We received many hundreds of names, but one name was mentioned over and over again. It was no surprise to anyone that this name was Amanda Barnes.

When faced with a difficult problem, I know that across the hospital many of us think "what would Amanda do?". Her legacy lives on in all the people that she inspired, motivated and set an example to.

Before her death we talked to Amanda about creating a nursing leadership bursary in her name, and I know that she loved this idea. Her family have also suggested a bench in her memory, and we will find the right place in the hospital grounds for this to be placed, so that it can be a permanent peaceful place for all of us. However the most important memorial from us to Amanda is how this hospital is, how we treat patients and each other - with kindness, compassion but also fairness, high expectations and an ambition to improve.
All the positive words in the cqc report are a tribute to Amanda, and to everyone across the hospital who, as she did, lives our values everyday.

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

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Page comments

Dear Sue,
Thank you so much for your kind words. Amanda was so loved here at UHS and all our thoughts are with you and your family.
With best wishes
Fiona Dalton (24/06/2017 20:07:32)
I have just read the beautiful, heartfelt words of Fiona Dalton about my sister Amanda Barnes, and I wanted to say thank you to Fiona and all Amanda's colleagues at UHS. I know that Amanda really loved her job and working with you all.
Fiona, thank you, your words have given me strength to be brave and carry on as Amanda would want us all to do. Her cheery smile will never be forgotten.
My family and I wish to thank everyone at UHS for the things you are doing to honour Amanda's name.

Sue Taylor
Sue Taylor (20/06/2017 11:42:07)