Annual members' meeting

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It was an evening  that celebrated our successes over the past year, whilst also planning  for  the challenges that lie ahead.

Hosted by Trust chair Peter Hollins, Trust members, staff and the public gathered for the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust’s annual members’ meeting.

The event saw members introduced to our new CEO Paula Head who described her first impressions of the Trust and explained what drew her to the job of leading UHS.

Outlining her aspirations for UHS as the place other health professionals will come to see how things are done, she said she was overwhelmingly impressed by the dedication of staff who seemed to “embody the values” of the Trust.

Members also heard from David French, chief finance officer, who explained how despite “riding the wave” of the NHS funding formula in recent times, there were challenges ahead if we were to continue to invest in services and resources.

Guest speakers for the evening also included Alex Lochrane, chief executive  of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance who gave a potted history of the charity and how, together with the Trust and South Central Ambulance Service, we were developing a more structured relationship that would see the service grow as it continues to serve the two counties.

Members also heard from research nurse Emma Ray who spoke of her work in respiratory disease. She underlined the importance of  the commitment from UHS to continue investing in clinical research. Emma outlined her outreach work with students in raising awareness of the risks posed by smoking, how we were initiating smoking cessation support for patients whilst in hospital and her work detecting and treating illnesses like COPD earlier.

The evening finished with questions from the floor which covered topics including how we were improving discharge waiting times, the need for better organisation of outpatient appointments and the ways in which we promote the work of the Trust to a wider audience.