Fiona Dalton, CEO

Chief executive's blog - 3 January 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

I think there's something about how organisations approach Christmas which tells you a lot about their culture and values.

So, for what it’s worth, this is my very personal list of Christmas memories for 2016:

  • Enjoying the carol service in the hospital chapel, with a theme of 'Christmas around the world'. Listening to staff from so many different countries speaking about festive traditions in their home countries, with the fabulous Phillipino choir a particular highlight.
  • Hearing about the Christmas Eve 'tucking in' ceremony on the neonatal unit, thirty minutes of quiet reflection and support for parents at a very difficult time.
  • Coming out of a Christmas morning service in Romsey Abbey to hear the familiar engine noise of the air ambulance flying above us, headed to the Isle of Wight.
  • Seeing the party which had been organised for Christmas afternoon for every patient on an elderly care ward who was well enough to get out of bed.
  • Knowing that for much of Christmas Day we had two emergency cardiac theatres running (and thinking that honestly there are not many hospitals in the UK that could open two cardiac theatres on a bank holiday with no notice).

And across the hospital, I talked to staff who were cheerful and enthusiastic - many of them were a long way from home, but were here to look after the sickest and most vulnerable patients in the region.

But the most important thing is how our patients feel at this time, and so I wanted to leave you with the following words from the parent of one of our paediatric patients (with their permission).

"To spend Christmas Day in hospital with a very sick child is something I don't wish to experience again and would not wish on anyone! However, we woke up Christmas Day after a troubled night with a bundle of presents at the foot of my daughters bed. To see her eyes light up when seeing them and realising that Santa (or the ward nurses) had not forgotten her was a sight I will never forget.

I come away from our Christmas stay absolutely blown away by the professionalism and compassion of the staff within SGH. From the emergency department staff who reassured her to the radiologist who danced like a clown to make her laugh. From the nurses who played uno with her to the physio who patiently encouraged her to cough when that was the last thing she wanted to do.

The staff who work in this Trust are amazing, and I can see their positive attitude to work shining through."

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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