Meet the hospital directors

16 December 2014

Since 1 July this year, each of our main three hospital sites has had a hospital director to direct and lead on the operational running of the site.

The hospital directors operationally manage Barnet Hospital, Chase Farm Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital, and work closely with the divisional leadership teams to ensure our patients are getting the best possible care and experience. They are responsible for ensuring safety and quality is of the highest standard and the resources of the hospital are managed in the most efficient way, while maintaining patient focus. The hospital directors for Barnet Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital are accountable to Kate Slemeck, chief operating officer.

The Chase Farm Hospital director role differs slightly and so is accountable to the director of service transformation. This reflects and supports the specific requirements and challenges in developing a new, innovative and integrated model of care on the site.

The hospital directors also work with the senior management teams to ensure the long term goals of each hospital site are planned and resourced as required. This ensures we deliver world class clinical care at all times.

We met the hospital directors and asked them a few key questions about their roles.

Janet Mustoe – Barnet Hospital

Janet Mustoe, hospital director, Barnet Hospital

What are your normal tasks as a hospital director?

Running a hospital for me is like conducting an orchestra. It’s my role to ensure that all the component parts of the hospital are in place each day and that we are all working in harmony to deliver patient services. This can be as diverse as sorting out parking to liaising with commissioning teams, helping homeless patients, ensuring emergency and elective provision are maintained at all times, and ensuring we have adequate, safe, staffing levels.

What do you think are your most important roles as a hospital director?

Working with the divisional senior leadership and being a resource for all staff at Barnet Hospital, to troubleshoot and make decisions when required, to ensure safety and quality in patients' services are foremost. Keeping the executive leadership briefed on issues particular to the Barnet Hospital site.

How do you think we can make sure our three main sites work well as a collective?

We are one organisation and we do work together as a whole system team to ensure our patients are in the right place to receive appropriate care. We are undertaking considerable clinical service redesign with the senior clinical and operational management to ensure this.

Fiona Jackson – Chase Farm Hospital

What are your normal tasks as a hospital director?

As well as Chase Farm Hospital director I am also director of integrated care, with responsibility for complex discharge across all three sites. This involves considerable liaison with outside partner organisations. In addition I maintain an oversight of services across our range of satellite sites, such as Cheshunt, Potters Bar, Finchley and Edgware.

At the present time I am also very engaged with the plans being developed for the Chase Farm site. It is very exciting and to be part of the development of a new hospital is a privilege. At the same time I am working closely with our services to ensure that we maintain the best possible care for patients during the four year building programme.

Fiona Jackson, hospital director, Chase Farm Hospital

How do you think we can make sure our three main sites work well as a collective?

I think the best thing we can do to make the three sites work well as a collective is to have a full appreciation of the pressures on each individual site so that we can support the associated challenges. 
Recently we have been working as a team to clarify the pathways for patients moving across particularly from Barnet, so that we are ensuring that the most appropriate patients transfer to Chase Farm Hospital. At the same time we have looked at the best process if a patient should need to transfer back to Barnet Hospital.

What systems do you think work best on your site and why?

I wouldn’t want to pick out any particular areas that work best at Chase Farm Hospital. Many services on this site are working in very difficult circumstances and are partially limited by the environment they work in.

We do, however, have great systems in place to avoid A&E admissions, both in our urgent care service and the older people’s assessment unit. I also think that our out-patient services run well despite being spread out across a very disparate site – something that will be improved by the new build!

What makes a day in the life of a hospital run smoothly?

For a day in the life of a hospital to run smoothly we need strong clinical leaders, committed staff who feel valued and good team working. This includes having excellent communications between both external and internal teams and most importantly continued focus on improving care for patients.

Camilla Wiley – Royal Free Hospital

What do you think are your most important roles as a hospital director?

It is incredibly important to ensure the flow of patients moving in and out of the hospital runs smoothly to deliver a good patient experience. I see myself as a resource to enhance communication between specialities and departments to improve this hospital flow and therefore the patient journey.

A key part of my role is to have oversight of the whole Royal Free Hospital site to ensure resources are effectively deployed on a daily basis to optimise our trust performance.

Camilla Wiley, hospital director, Royal Free Hospital

What are the biggest challenges on your site?

Having speciality beds, where patients with similar conditions are grouped together, is important to provide the best possible care for each person. However, getting the patients into the right wards, in the right sex beds, in a timely manner can be tough. Good communication and close working with teams really helps to improve this.

I also find that managing specialist emergency admissions, for example transplant and vascular patients, when elective work is planned and the hospital is running to high capacity can be difficult to manage.

What systems do you think work best on your site and why?

Communication relating to planned works is excellent at the Royal Free Hospital.  We sign it off prior to the work taking place by all those who may be affected and then communicate it well through the bed meetings. It is also clear that staff focus on getting the best for the patient in both front line and support services.

What makes a day in the life of a hospital run smoothly?

Our staff being present, enthusiastic and able to deliver the service.