A message from our Chief Executive

Cara Charles-Barks

Since coming to Salisbury, I’ve been really impressed with the professionalism and commitment of our staff, their passion for our patients, the care they provide and the contribution that all our staff make to our local community. Whenever I talk to our patients, I’m constantly reminded of the affection they have for our hospital and the value that they place on the work that our staff do for them. I am proud to be the Chief Executive here in Salisbury.

I knew, before I arrived, how much support we enjoyed from our local community but, having got here, I’ve seen first-hand the scale of the loyalty that people have for their local hospital. It’s something I haven’t seen in any other hospital that I have worked in before. I also see this in the League of Friends and the connection that we have had with the League over so many years. I’m so pleased that this is continuing through the League’s agreement to fully fund this year’s Striving for Excellence Awards.

While the awards have traditionally been held within the hospital, this year I wanted to change the look and feel of the occasion, so that we not only celebrate and recognise individual staff achievements, but also provide a party atmosphere. Our staff work tirelessly throughout the year and I think it’s right that they have the opportunity to enjoy themselves in a more social and relaxed environment. This year, the awards will be held at the Salisbury Racecourse on February 2nd and this wouldn’t be possible without the help of the League of Friends.

There is a strong link between the professionalism and commitment of NHS staff and the quality of care they give to patients. The League has given additional support to local health services for over 60 years and this is why I think the League’s sponsorship this year is such a great fit.

In the late 1970's, the League of Friends raised money to build a bungalow with six en-suite bedrooms for relatives of patients who live further afield. Six more bedrooms were added in a second bungalow in 1994. This has been such an important initiative, bearing in mind that patients come to Salisbury District Hospital from such a wide area because of the specialist services that we run. The League has helped us to buy important pieces of equipment and improve facilities for our patients. They also contribute to our Carers’ Café, which gives invaluable support and advice to people who are looking after their loved ones.

I think it’s essential that we take every opportunity to recognize the efforts of our staff and celebrate what is good about working in Salisbury. Each week, I see amazing things that our staff do for our patients and they continue to provide the inspiration and drive that makes the health service what it is today. Our awards are one of several changes I have made to improve communication with staff in order to better recognise their efforts and improve our engagement with them. This year, for instance, we held our first staff barbecue. It was good to see such a great turnout and acknowledge the support that we get from organisations such as the League of Friends.

I truly believe that it’s our staff that make our hospital what it is today. I also believe that it’s organisations, such as the League of Friends, that provide additional help from our local community. I want to thank the League for their support over the last 60 years and the sponsorship of our Striving for Excellence Awards. The celebration of staff achievements is so important and I’m sure our staff also recognise the League's contribution and their ongoing support of our hospital.

Cara Charles-Barks - Chief Executive, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust