Fiona Dalton, CEO

Chief executive's blog - 31 March 2014


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


We held the annual 'Hospital Heroes' event this week and, as ever, it was a brilliant and uplifting evening.

Both speakers – Geoff Holt, the record breaking yachtsman, and Peter Connelly, the paraglider who was featured in the recent trauma documentary, were inspirational in their descriptions of how they had overcome potentially devastating life events. And I am very grateful to all our sponsors, in particular the Southampton Echo who gave the chance for the public to vote for individual members of staff who they felt had been particularly special.

I would like to talk about each of the winners but that really would make this blog too long! So the full list of names is here. Whilst many of these individuals expressed surprise to have been nominated, and said that they were 'just doing their job', they should all feel very proud of what they have achieved.

In particular I will remember the emotion of the evening - many tears were shed as we heard deeply moving stories from colleagues and patients of the amazing care that individuals and teams had given. Someone told me afterwards that they had had to tear their only tissue into four pieces to share it around their table...

My only regret in the whole evening was that all 9,560 of us who work at UHS couldn't all be in the room together

So for those people who weren't there, this is roughly what I said, when I was given the honour of closing the evening:

I think we have all found the last couple of hours deeply inspiring. It is very humbling to lead an organisation where so many amazing people work.

I read a book sometime ago about how Starbucks had become so successful. It was surprisingly interesting - who could have predicted ten years ago that a small coffee shop from Seattle would become a global company by selling coffee at £2.50 a cup?!

But one of the things which the founder of Starbucks said was that their success was all about the customer experience - and how lucky they were, because in the business that they are in (selling coffee) they actually got to see each of their customers, to smile and hand them a cup of coffee in a friendly way.

Which just made me think - if Starbucks is lucky, how incredibly privileged are we?! We don't get to just give patients a cup of coffee - although that can be an important part of looking after them. We get to care for them and be with them in some of the most important and difficult moments of their lives. We can make a such a difference for our patients. And just occasionally we get to save their lives.

None of this is easy: I have often reflected that there are no easy jobs in a hospital. This is why we need heroes, and we are very privileged to have heroes working right across UHS.

So the most important thing that I have to say is thank you, to everyone across the hospital. For quiet heroism, unsung commitment, and for doing the right thing for patients even when the circumstances are difficult.

Thank you.

Fiona Dalton

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Page comments

Our CEO’s message was simple, yet powerful. I was fortunate to be able to attend the hospital heroes’ event and hear this first hand. Yes, it was an emotional night but also uplifting and empowering. We can do more and the stories of all the nominations on the night showed us how. If there is one message I would add and emphasize is the power of a smile. Please can we all smile a little more not for ourselves but for others, especially those coming into our hospital worried about their health; worried about their loved ones; carrying so much on their minds whilst walking to their destination? A simple smile might just help relieve some of that burden. Please smile!
Ram Jassi (16/04/2014 20:31:15)