Sir David Dalton sets out his priorities for his time at Liverpool University Hospitals

On his first day as Interim Chief Executive at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sir David Dalton has set out his priorities and focus for his six months with the organisation.

In an email to staff on Monday 6 September, Sir David said his aim will be to focus on three fundamental priorities: the Trust’s purpose, its people and its partners. He wrote:

“Purpose: the Trust’s overarching purpose is to deliver outstanding healthcare which is safe, effective and caring. We will launch a new approach to quality improvement and patient safety that will enable this to be achieved.

“People: the Trust’s ambition and plans can only be achieved with the commitment of the people who work for it. I believe that colleagues will give their best if they feel genuinely involved and supported, and if leaders listen and understand the impediments which can sometimes get in the way of them providing great care. I will work with leaders and staff through the organisations to achieve this.

“Partners: Liverpool can be stronger if it acts together. I will explore how we can unite with partners, in different ways, to improve the health and wellbeing of the people in the city region.”

Sir David acknowledged the challenges that staff have faced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, saying: “I hope that this next period will present an opportunity to look to the future and that together we can generate a new sense of stability, purpose and confidence with the Trust – across all its sites and services.

“Through the Our Future Together strategy, the Board has been very clear about where the Trust needs to be - the people of Liverpool and beyond deserve healthcare that is provided to the highest standard, and everyone who works for the Trust needs to be supported to provide such care. We will do this by embedding a new quality improvement-led approach.

“The commissioning of the long awaited new Royal hospital is a key component of delivering to these high standards, and so I hope my experience of building the new hospital at Salford Royal will be helpful to you.”

Commenting upon the recent Care Quality Commission feedback, he said: “Whilst there is much to be proud of, it is important that we acknowledge the recent criticisms made by the Care Quality Commission and that we work hard to understand the systems and processes that have let people down and that we work equally hard to find solutions.”

In the same email, Trust Chair Sue Musson welcomed Sir David to the Trust, whilst outlining how the Trust Board had identified priority improvement areas.

Sue Musson said: “I am delighted to welcome our new Interim Chief Executive, Sir David Dalton, on his first day with us here at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He brings a wealth of experience to the role that will be of great value in the next stage of our journey.

“Following Steve’s decision to stand down, the Trust Board was focused on ensuring that our interim chief executive would be a person who would act as a catalyst for improvement and who would enable the Trust to make progress whilst we recruit a substantive chief executive.

“Sir David is recognised as a pioneering chief executive and one of the NHS’ most influential leaders. He brings unrivalled experience and an outstanding track record of delivery in the areas of patient safety, quality improvement, driving up standards and leading on culture change. These are the areas of improvement that the Board has identified as priorities.

“I firmly believe we could have made no better appointment than Sir David Dalton to oversee the Trust at this time. The Trust Board and I look forward to working together with Sir David in the coming months with focus on implementing positive change for our patients and staff. By working together, we can deliver the outstanding healthcare that our patients and local communities deserve.”