New chief executive Jon Green outlines challenges facing the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn

Jon Green, new chief executive at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Picture: Chris Bishop

Jon Green, new chief executive at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

The new chief executive of a Norfolk hospital says teamwork is the key to moving forward.

Former naval officer Jon Green has gone from navigating warships to taking the helm at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King's Lynn.

While his predecessor sailed the 480-bed QEH through rough seas, after it was placed in special measures three years ago, Mr Green admits there could still be stormy waters ahead.

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Although there have been major improvements on the wards, unexpected spikes in demand last winter left a £1.8m a month bill for hiring extra temporary nurses to staff escalation beds.

That led to the hospital ending the financial year some £18m in the red.

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'I think there's a number of challenges,' said Mr Green. 'There's undoubtedly one of resource, getting the right resource.

'We have financial challenges, we need to make sure we deliver value for money.

'There is a staffing challenge, making sure we get enough of the right people in.

'In some ways the biggest challenge is how do we manage demand here effectively. If we always do what we've always done, we'll get what we've got before.'

Mr Green said closer working between different sections of the health service was one of the keys to driving improvement.

'You need to make sure the building blocks are working first,' he said. 'I think we've inherited a really strong foundation, a really strong base to build upon.

'How do you right-size the organisation, you need to have a degree of escalation but how do you do that cost-effectively?'

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Briefing staff on his arrival in King's Lynn three weeks ago, Mr Green - who has held senior roles at hospitals in London, Kettering and Bury St Edmunds - said the emphasis would be on team QEH and listening.

'We want to listen, we want to hear,' he said. 'I'm not afraid to be told it warts and all so to speak.'

A survey comparing staff at all NHS acute trusts across the country found staff motivation at work was higher than average at the QEH.

Staff satisfaction in their job was also higher than the national average.

But staff engagement was fractionally below average, while communication between senior management and staff were also below average.

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