New chief executive Jon Green admits there are “substantial challenges” ahead as he takes over at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn

Jon Green, chief executive at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Picture: Victoria Fear

Jon Green, chief executive at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Picture: Victoria Fear - Credit: Archant

The new chief executive of a Norfolk hospital admits it faces 'substantial challenges' over the coming months.

Jon Green joins the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn at a time when it has won plaudits for clinical excellence. But unpredicted spikes in winter demand saw it end the year £18m in the red.

Mr Green, who joins the 480-bed QEH from the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust said he would be spending his first days speaking to staff and settling into his new role.

'My first priority is to meet as many people as possible and to listen to what they have to say,' he said. 'I want to understand what they think is working well and the areas where they believe things need to improve.

'I want to know what it feels like to work at the QEH and if there is anything that can be done to improve staff and patient experience. The QEH is a hugely valued part of West Norfolk and I also want to listen to the views of our patients and the wider community.

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'The hospital has a bright future but in the coming weeks and months and years there is no denying that it faces some very substantial challenges. It my intention that the QEH takes on those challenges as a team, supported by a wide variety of partners.'

Edward Libbey, the chair of the hospital trust, said: 'This is a new era for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. There is no denying that the Hospital and its staff have come a long way over the last two years but there is still more work to be done. Now that Jon is in post, we can now move forward to meet the challenges and build an even brighter future for the Hospital.'

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Mr Green has taken over from Dorothy Hosein, who left the hospital at the end of March. When Mrs Hosein joined two years ago, the QEH was in special measures because of low staffing levels, long waiting times and poor financial performance. Over the last three years, its stroke unit has been named one of the best in the country and mums-to-be have a revamped maternity service.

But spikes in demand from numbers of frail elderly patients meant so-called escalation beds had to be brought into use last winter, meaning more than £1.2m a month hiring agency staff, which has left the QEH predicted to end the year £18.5m - around 10pc of its annual budget - in the red.

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