Fiona Dalton, CEO

Chief executive's blog - 7 February 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


It’s now nearly two weeks since our main CQC inspection, and it feels a bit like the aftermath of an exam, with lots of people asking me “so how do you think it went?!”.

Firstly, I have to keep emphasising that it’s not over yet. We are still submitting vast amounts of data through the CQC portal, and thank you to everyone who is working so hard to collate all of this. And we will have a further unannounced visit sometime in the next few days.

We know that we won’t get any formal feedback from the CQC for some time, however we have already had some informal feedback. This initial feedback included some useful points about issues that they found in individual areas – and of course these points have been highlighted to leaders in these areas so that immediate actions have been taken.

We also received many thanks from the CQC team – who told us that UHS staff were “welcoming, professional and unfailingly helpful”. In particular I wanted to pass on the lead inspector’s words from her letter to me:

“Fiona, thank you once again for the patience and forbearance of your staff during the inspection period. We enjoyed meeting them very much, and I ask that our positive comments are fed back to them.”

The lead inspector also told me that when she arrived at 7am on the first morning she went to Costa. Of course we all know that some of the most important conversations happen in the Costa queue, and she overheard someone saying “The CQC are coming to inspect us today!” – to which the reply came “I know – it’s great, we going to show them how good we are!”.

I’d like to say a personal thank you to this anonymous member of staff! We have tried to approach this inspection in a spirit of honesty but also positivity, and this approach was perfectly demonstrated by the anonymous coffee lover.

But for me, by far the most important thing that I heard from the CQC team was that they found every team that they met enthusiastic and committed, and that across the hospital everyone talked to them about how they were planning to change or improve. Apparently some people talked about this in very corporate language, and others talked very personally – but the inspectors were really struck by how consistent the ambition and commitment to improvement was.

This meant everything to me. We know that we’re not perfect, and indeed that we have “miles to go before we sleep”. But whatever our official grading comes out as – and I really would not like to pre-judge this - I cannot ask for anything more than this description of everyone at UHS wanting to be part of providing better care for our patients.

Fiona Dalton

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