Ipswich: New boss reveals his vision for the future of Ipswich Hospital

Nick Hulme, new Chief Executive of Ipswich Hospital.

Nick Hulme, new Chief Executive of Ipswich Hospital. - Credit: Archant

HIGH-QUALITY care in a safe and compassionate environment.

That is Nick Hulme’s vision for Ipswich Hospital as he prepares to take over the reins.

The new chief executive, who will officially start on April 1, is busy meeting staff and getting up to speed on the issues facing the hospital.

The 51-year-old, who has worked in the NHS for more than 30 years, joins Ipswich Hospital from Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals where he was brought in to lead a major programme of change.

Facing his next big challenge, Mr Hulme said he is “really, really excited” to get started.

Moving to the county from London, the former chairman of the Terrence Higgins Trust said it is important for his family to live in the community the hospital serves.

“I am always very clear about what people should expect when they come to hospital and that is consistent high-quality, safe and compassionate care,” he said.

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“That is the challenge to the whole health service.

“You do hear, in the main, patients talking about excellent experiences of the NHS and the same is true for Ipswich Hospital.

“But we also know that sometimes we get things wrong.

“I want patients to feel positive that no matter the time of day or day of the week, they will receive high-quality, safe and compassionate care, whoever they come into contact with.

“I want people to feel we listen to patients’ experiences to learn how we can improve.

“We are not going to get it right all the time, sometimes the system will let people down.

“But on those few occasions where the care we give isn’t up to the standard we set for ourselves, we will sit down with the family involved to discuss what went wrong and how we can make improvements to get it right the next time.

“Complaints come in and are dealt with but it is vital we take anything we have learnt back to the staff.”

Among one of the hospital’s key aims is to achieve the gold standard of Foundation Trust status.

Every NHS trust across the country has been set to goal which once achieved will give them a degree of independence from the Department of Health and local health authorities.

Ipswich Hospital is on course and is expecting to submit their application in December.

But for Mr Hulme achieving the status is a “by-product” of a well-run, safe and compassionate hospital.

“We want to offer a consistent level of high-quality, safe and compassionate care, within the financial envelope we have got.

“We must make sure we respond and feedback to local people.

“There needs to be a very clear governance structure so we know the risks and we can manage those risks.

“If we do all that becoming a Foundation Trust will follow.

“It is a by-product of a well-run, safe organisation.

“We have learnt from the Francis Report that if you do things the other way around there is a massive risk that the focus goes on to delivering something which is just a badge rather than true, good-quality care.”

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