CHESTERFIELD CHAMPION: ‘The town has a strong sense of character and community’

Simon Morritt - CEO Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Simon Morritt - CEO Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

My name is Simon Morritt and in September 2016 I joined Chesterfield Royal Hospital as its chief executive.

I’ve worked in the NHS for more than 25 years, but have previously been based in Yorkshire and Manchester. I was chief executive at Sheffield Children’s Hospital for five years before joining the Royal, and my other chief executive positions were at Primary Care Trusts (as they were formerly known) in Doncaster and Bradford.

I want to make sure we perform well so local people know that they will get the best possible care and experience when they come into our hospital. I also want to make sure that we improve not just the care we give to patients, but also the workplace for our 3,700 valuable staff members.

The area is still very new to me – and I’m getting to find my way around slowly but surely. I travel to work each day from Penistone, where I live with my wife and our three daughters.

1. What’s your best memory of the town?

Next time I visit County Hall I want to stop off and have a walk around Matlock. I have some memories of visiting there and Matlock Bath riverside illuminations when I was about 11 or 12.

2. What development do you think will make the biggest difference to the town?

The developments of Chesterfield Waterside, Peak Resort, Markham Vale, Chesterfield Elder Way and the Northern Gateway all look set to transform the town.

The town will be able to offer even more to businesses, residents and visitors as a result of these multi-million pound investments.

3. How would you describe Chesterfield to someone who has never visited?

Chesterfield is a place with a strong character and a strong sense of community.

That’s evident from the support the hospital and its staff receive from local people.

4. What are the positives of running a business here?

Whilst we’re not a ‘business’ in the true sense, we’re a public service that benefits from the positives of a local workforce, good travel links and local support.

5. Who or what do you turn to in Chesterfield for business advice?

The plans, strategies and schemes we put in place all take into account the views of staff, our patients and the public. We have a staff partnership committee and forum, and we discuss ideas with people in many different ways, from conversations at the patient’s bedside through to social media.

6. Who do you admire in the community?

Without sounding cliché, I admire all the staff who work hard to care for our patients and provide services in the hospital.

7. What are the aspirations of your business?

By working with others, we can lead and shape the new services that will transform how we look after people’s health and well-being.

The NHS is changing and I am looking forward to taking the Royal forward, helping it thrive as it makes its own choices about its future.