Hospital’s new boss on the future of healthcare

Harrogate District Hospital
Harrogate District Hospital

After just two weeks in the job the new chief executive of Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust is already singing the praises of the staff at the hospital.

Dr Ros Tolcher, took up her new post on August 4 taking over from Richard Ord who retired this summer.

Dr Ros Tolcher, chief executive of Harrogate District hospital

Dr Ros Tolcher, chief executive of Harrogate District hospital

She said: “Everyone has been so welcoming, it is great to see.

“We have a workforce here that is very skilled in what they do. Staff are dedicated to providing the best care.

“Patients benefit from a happy work force, we are helping to support staff who in turn support the patients.”

The Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust is Harrogate’s biggest employer and manages community care and nursing across the district and Ripon Community Hospital.

Recent statistics show that just five per cent of NHS chief executive positions are held by medically trained doctors. Dr Tolcher, has 29 years experience in the NHS working as a GP and hospital consultant. She said: “I still have a lot of patient contact, it is very important.”

Dr Tolcher predicts that in the next ten years there will be an increase in healthcare provided in the community.

She said: “Most patients want to stay at home, even if they are poorly. When I look at what the trust has to provide it is that we have to continue to provide excellent care at the hospital, along side that we need to develop the out of hospital services so that we are supporting people better.

“We know that the number of older people living in the area is going to go up over the next decade and the number of people living with several complex illnesses will increase.

“We need to work closely with GPs and nurses in the communities and social workers, integration is important.”

Dr Tolcher has said she will work closely with the Harrogate and Rural District CCG and will look to adapt to new technologies.

She said: “The medical equipment and techniques we take for granted now were new and ground breaking innovations that people were excited about, or afraid of.

“The NHS needs to keep up to date with technology it’s about achieving the best outcomes for patients.”

She added: “I understand how important the NHS is to people in Harrogate. This district has got a really long history of high quality care. I hope to maintain that and make sure care is always getting better.”

Harrogate District Hospital is preparing to host it’s annual open day on September 18, which offers an opportunity to see behind the scenes at the hospital.