King’s Mill Hospital can be ‘world’s best’- claims new chief executive

NMAC11-2900-1 Martin Wakeley, new chief executive at Kings Mill Hospital.
NMAC11-2900-1 Martin Wakeley, new chief executive at Kings Mill Hospital.

THE new boss of Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust says ‘better communication’ and ‘belief’ are needed to fulfil ambitious plans to make King’s Mill hospital the world’s best.

Trust chief executive Martin Wakeley, who took up the top post last month, said he had big plans for the hospital’s future and was aiming for it to be the envy of health care providers across the globe in two years.

“Some people have said that these are all very well but can lofty goals really be achieved? But if someone told those people two years ago that this trust would go more than 500 days without a single case of MRSA acquired, they would not have thought it possible.

“I think these goals are achievable, but they do require belief.”

Mr Wakeley said the hospital’s new build, completed last year after the trust signed up to a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal, was already world class.

“As a facility you would be hard placed to see anywhere that is better. This is a world class hospital.

“Half of patients are virtually guaranteed a single room with ensuite suite. The building is totally based on what our patients need.”

But he said older buildings and facilities, like the hospital’s Emergency Assessment Unit and management offices, needed attention.

Mr Wakeley also said improving patient services would require better communication and more flexibility.

“We need to listen to our patients and listen to our staff, he said.

“We need to change the way we work to accommodate the needs of patients. That will mean making our services available outside of normal working hours.”

Mr Wakeley also plans to introduce a zero tolerance policy for appointment cancellations.

“We have got to recognise that patients have to rearrange their lives around these appointments. Our part of the bargain is making sure that when we make set an appointment, we stick to it. “

Mr Wakeley said he had spoken to more than 700 staff in his first few weeks and discussed cost-cutting measures, which had incuded cutting staff numbers.

“I said, imagine you at home and you have £10,000 a year to spend, and you repeatedly spend £11,000. At some point, your bank or credit card company is going to come along and cut up your credit card. Now if this was your situation - would you wait until the card was cut up, or act before then? That was the choice this trust has had to make.”

Mr Wakeley said he had been conducting weekly tours of the hospital with representatives from its PFI provider - Skanska - who built the new build and are responsible for its maintenance.

Lifts which had not been working since Mr Wakeley arrived had finally been fixed.

“Our relationship with [Skanska] is improving. We had to establish exactly what we were not prepared to accept.”

After observing patients entering the hospital, the chief executive requested new rotating doors are being installed. - because the current ones are not wide enough.

And Mr Wakeley has asked for smoking shelters to be erected for patients.

Mr Wakeley previously led Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust and most recently worked as national operations director at Circle Health, the first private health provider to run an NHS hospital.

He took over from Carolyn White, who stepped down into the newly created role of deputy chief executive.