Chief executive's blog - 6 May 2015
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
This week I wanted to update everyone on our planned changes around the front entrance of the hospital.
Firstly, in June we will be starting to redevelop the main entrance - including creating a better reception area that is more welcoming to patients. We’ll also be changing the shops and we hope that we’ve got the right balance between providing the facilities that patients, visitors and staff want, whilst also playing our part in encouraging healthier eating.
The really important thing about this redevelopment is that it isn’t costing us (the NHS) any money. We are very short of capital funds, and we need to use the capital that we do have on our highest priority equipment and buildings. The Trust has therefore worked with private sector partners to organise all the funding for the new main entrance.
Inevitably, the rebuilding project will be disruptive and inconvenient for us all – thank you to everyone in advance for their patience with this. I am sure that the temporary disruption will be worth it to create a new front entrance, which will make a real difference to patients at UHS.
However, we hope that very soon there will be another building project at the front entrance that will make a difference not just to UHS patients but to patients across the world.
One of the areas in which the University of Southampton (supported by UHS) is internationally known is cancer immunology. This very exciting area of scientific research is about literally using the body’s own defences to fight the cancer cells. Researchers here in Southampton have been leading players in cancer immunology for 40 years and they are playing a really important part in the global effort to find a cure for cancer. Much of modern science is so complicated and sophisticated that it is hard to envisage, and impossible to actually see ourselves.
However, unusually, we have an amazing video clip where you can see some 'Killer T Cells' seeking out and destroying the cancer cells. If, like me, you grew up thinking that PacMan was the most exciting computer game ever then this video will take you back to your childhood. It's a beautiful illustration of this biological process and if you have a spare 30 seconds I would very much recommend watching it.
Because the cancer immunology research in Southampton is so promising, the University has launched a fundraising campaign to build a dedicated cancer immunology centre outside our main entrance, next to the Somers cancer building. The campaign's slogan is "the cure for cancer - you're it": a nice summary of the concept of using an individual's own immune system to attack the cancer cells in their body.
Of course we'll do everything that we can to support the University in this campaign, which will help to increase the number of cancer trials for our patients here at UHS, and we believe ultimately increase the survival chances of cancer patients across the world.
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