We catch up with Stuart Hammond, the new CEO of Newport’s St Joseph’s Hospital...


The Business: Who are you?
Stuart Hammond:
I’m CEO of St Joseph’s Hospital in Newport and my role is to continue to develop an environment where people really do matter, share values and are valued. I had known about and worked with St Joseph’s Hospital for more than 10 years prior to joining the team late last year. St Joseph’s has always been renowned for its exceptional care and I am keen to further develop our patient-centric approach through team work and collaboration. 

TB: What did you do before this? 
I’ve worked in the health sector for more than 15 years, with seven years as the hospital director at Sancta Maria Hospital in Swansea. Prior to my role at Sancta Maria Hospital, I was group financial controller for a manufacturing company along with other senior financial positions.

TB: Why is it important for a place like Newport to have a hospital like St Joseph’s? 
St Joseph’s Hospital has been part of the community of Newport for nearly 75 years, having opened its doors on February 11, 1946. The level of care and personal attention given to our patients cannot be matched elsewhere – it’s a vocation for those who work here. The doctors collectively own the hospital here. This means they have invested in the best possible outcomes for their patients, whether it be the staff to patient radio, the latest advanced diagnostics or the environment conducive to recovery. The level of specialist care offered ensures our patients are in safe hands.

TB: How important is the service aspect of your business?
Care is our top priority. Everything we do is about exceeding our patient’s expectations. Our staff and doctors are a fantastic group of people who, through their dedication, capabilities and positive attitude, deliver an excellent service to our patients. We are working hard to embrace a culture of wellbeing for everyone who works here. Staff wellbeing and teamwork is important to the organisation and central to its success. All staff have a voice and are valued for their role. 
People feel anxious when they arrive at hospital, so it’s our job to help them feel at ease. Providing a five-star healthcare service which is clinically outstanding, personalised and delivered in a welcoming and warm environment is central to what we do. 

TB: We have launched a campaign to make Newport a City of Service – what do you think of that initiative? 
Long gone are the days where customers would rarely feel that they were getting a special service or that the company knows only the faintest thing about them or what they really want. Providing a very personalised service where the patient is at the centre of all that we do is vital to the success of the hospital. We would be delighted to work with local businesses to share best practice on how to deliver a great customer experience. 

TB: What sort of services are on offer at the hospital? 
If you have a medical problem then I’m sure we can help. We cover all medical and surgical specialities including orthopaedics, general surgery and ophthalmology as well as Gold Standard health screening and private GP services. With more than 160 leading consultants, supported by our highly-dedicated nursing team and state of the art diagnostic capabilities, patients experience exceptional healthcare. 

TB: What plans do you have for the hospital? 
We will soon have a need to expand our infrastructure as we’re so busy. Our ethos is to provide the very latest technological advances for our patients. We’re one of the few private hospitals in the country to have the 640 CT scanner which is capable of identifying tiny tumours (2mm in size) which other scanners cannot. We’re developing a service for international patients – with Bristol and Cardiff airport being a stone’s throw away we’re easy to access. More and more patients are choosing to travel to renowned experts for specialist healthcare.

TB: How can business be involved? 
Wellbeing in the workplace is so important to the culture and growth of an organisation. Businesses can be involved by partnering with us in trying to improve the health of their staff – stress, anxiety, injuries, waiting times for operations etc all influence a person’s ability to do their job well. We can help staff understand the benefits of diet, exercise, fitness and injury prevention in their everyday lives. 

TB: How do you see your business getting involved in the local community?
We’re continuously involved in community events. Our nurses looked after riders at the Dalmation bike ride which raised lots of funds for St David’s Hospice Care. We’re sponsors of the upcoming South Wales Argus Health and Care Awards, which recognise the importance of those providing care in our community. Our staff are our greatest asset. It’s their dedication to the hospital, the community in which we live and work and our inspiring ethos of approachability which encourages involvement.

TB: Has your business increased since the tolls were scrapped on the Severn bridges? 
It’s early days. That said, we do see a substantial number of patients who come over the bridge from the South West of England and further afield. We’re 30 minutes from the edge of Bristol and just a couple of miles north of J25/26 of the M4. it’s a surprisingly straight forward journey for many patients. 

TB: What do you think of the rejection of an M4 relief road by the Welsh Government? 
It’s important that a solution is found to relieve the problem of congestion on the M4 in Newport. We’re a growing community and need the infrastructure to support everyone who lives and works here. 

TB: How important is the ICC Wales to the area? 
It’s a truly fantastic venture which securely places Newport on the world stage for events. It’s extraordinary to believe that it’s about the size of four international rugby pitches and has the capacity to accommodate 5,000 conference delegates at any one time. The potential revenue to the Welsh economy will be huge, which will have knock-on effects to the immediate area too. The Celtic Manor has once again won the UK’s best hotel award and is a huge asset to Newport and Wales.