A new role but a familiar focus on patients and families

For my first post on the new Marie Curie blog, I thought I would talk about my recent experience moving from Chief Executive of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, where I chaired a palliative care board among many other things, to Chief Executive of Marie Curie.

The similarities are much greater than the differences. These particularly include the focus on doing the best for the patient and working in partnership with families. In my old role we also did everything we could to get children home as I strongly believe that home is the preferred place for people whether they are near the start or the end of their lives.

We also tried to make sure children and their families have what I call ‘joined-up services’. For our patients at Marie Curie this is even more important as they and their families simply don’t have time to navigate through health and social care to find what they need.

We have a number of programmes which are looking at the best way of doing this and it is important we can make clear recommendations from that work. The last and best similarity is that patient and family feedback from both organisations is excellent.

But as Chief Executive I see it as one of my roles to focus on where we could do better – of course to celebrate and be thankful for the good our staff does but always to try and improve what and how we do things. I am interested in what best looks like, not only in hospices and nursing services but also in shops, fundraising, policy development and across the whole organisation. What do you think?