Chief executive's blog - 9 May 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
One of the classic debates in healthcare policy is whether we should focus more on prevention or treatment - and of course it's a false debate, because we must do both.
As a primarily acute hospital our main role is treatment. However, as the biggest healthcare provider, and one of the largest employers, in Southampton, we also have a responsibility to use our influence to create a more equal society, and to encourage individuals in healthy behaviours, such as not smoking and eating better.
We have the privilege of caring for people at very key moments in their life - be it when they become pregnant, when they are brought to the emergency department, or when they come to a two week wait cancer clinic. There is good evidence that many patients do take health promotion advice seriously when it's given by trusted healthcare professionals at these moments of truth in their lives.
So prevention is very important - but people will still get unwell and injured, and we must also be here to look after them when that happens. I saw perfect examples of how we can improve both prevention and treatment last week.
On Thursday, a simulation of a major building collapse was run in our empty building space that will become the children's ED. Fire and rescue teams, paramedics and out of hospital medical teams were able to practise extricating willing (and very realistic) volunteer victims. A great opportunity for these teams to test how they can work together in a very challenging emergency situation, but also a small glimpse for hospital staff into the very difficult working environment that pre-hospital teams have to cope with.
And then on Saturday, hospital teams along with the police, ambulance and fire services ran a 'family road safety day' in central Southampton. Guildhall Square packed with children and their parents learning road signs, being allowed to sit on a police motorbike, practising CPR and even having a go at inserting an ICP bolt (on a polystyrene head!) was an amazing sight. It was great to see so many different hospital teams, supporting charities and volunteers - including two of our lovely PAT dogs - all giving up time on their day off to try to reduce future tragedies.
And I thought this is absolutely what we want for the people of Southampton and the south of England - as few accidents as possible, and for those unfortunate people who are involved in serious accidents, the best possible emergency care.
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