Chief executive's blog - 29 September 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
Last weekend we held our 2016 Hospital Open Day – which as ever was an enjoyable and inspiring day.
The term 'open day' is perhaps a slight misnomer – because of course we’re open every day. If you need emergency healthcare, we're here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - both for our local population but also for the most seriously injured and critically ill patients from across the south of England.
But for our official 'Open Day' we welcome everyone here – to see what we do every day to look after patients, and to conduct the research and education which will improve care for future patients. The whole day is of course only possible due to all the volunteers who give up their Saturday to run all the different activities - to everyone who plastered children's arms, led tours round the operating theatres, explained their research, showed visitors their hawks, ran a quiz about how much it costs to run the hospital and so much more, thank you very much. And thank you in particular to those people behind the scenes who made the whole day happen.
It was particularly great to see how many opportunities there were for members of the public to get more involved with UHS - whether that be through becoming a foundation trust member, supporting the hospital charity, joining up as a volunteer or signing up to ‘my medical record’. And of course I was delighted to see how popular the stall focussing on working at UHS was.
One of the many privileges that I have as chief exec here is that people frequently say to me "you must be so proud of your hospital”. But to be honest, I always feel a bit awkward and unsure about how to reply to this particular comment.
Because of course I am incredibly proud of this hospital. I am proud of the impact that UHS can have on people’s lives – not just saving and changing lives but also supporting people through the hardest times, when there’s nothing that anyone can do to change the outcome. I’m proud that we have people from all over the world who have chosen to come and work here. And I’m particularly proud though that we have a culture here of improvement – which starts with acknowledging that we don’t always get it right, and committing to always improving.
So when people say to me “you must be so proud of your hospital”, I think yes – I am proud of it – but it’s not my hospital.
The NHS belongs to all of us. We all pay our taxes, and this hospital along with the rest of the NHS is here for all of us, and belongs to us all.
And this is why I said to all of our visitors on Saturday "welcome to your hospital".
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