CEO Suzy Jones: The Lister’s leading light

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Suzy Jones CEO The Lister Hospital Staff Portraits Sept 2014. Photography by Joe D MilesA former theatre nurse, CEO of The Lister Hospital, Suzy Jones understands the running of a hospital right from the front line. Care, above all, is what patients remember about their hospital experience and Jones knows exactly what it takes to deliver top quality care.

Located next to Chelsea Bridge and, internationally, the choice healthcare destination for celebrities and royalty alike, The Lister is high-end healthcare and its Jones’ job to make sure that she is running a tight ship.      

During her four years at the helm, she has overseen the Lister’s move from primarily a fertility and day care hospital to one that is able to treat more specialities to the highest level of complexity. Perhaps most impressively, the Lister now includes a six-bed intensive care unit (ITU), avoiding the standard transferral of the most serious cases to an NHS hospital, reducing the patients’ stress and the unnecessary burden on the NHS.    

“We are able to take care of our patients throughout their entire journey.  This includes the most complex of patients that either require critical care as part of their planned admission or even if they become unwell during their treatment that they subsequently require critical care, ” explained Jones.

The ITU has helped Suzy Jones develop the specialties offered by the hospital like chest-related surgeries, including lung surgery, as well as complex reconstructive surgery and sarcoma surgeries, all of which require intensive aftercare. They have also begun to treat mesothelioma, cancer caused by exposure to asbestos that is still being mined in parts of the world today.  

“We have a surgeon who specialises in the treatment of mesothelioma so patients come from Australia, New Zealand, all over the world to be treated here,” said Jones.

By concentrating on in-house treatments and care, Jones has also been able to maximise their imaging and radiology services and provide a new 24-hour ‘GP Rapid Access’ initiative allowing patients to be admitted out of hours.

“We have an amazing relationship with the Chelsea GPs, when they need to admit patients we have consultants available 24/7.  We have several consultants in all the key specialties on call to meet the needs of the community, amongst them a general surgeon, physician, gynaecologists ophthalmologists, gastroenterologists and full x-ray services for rapid diagnoses,” said Jones. “It’s easy when the team are good and all of these areas have got fantastic clinical leaders.”

New Oncology Centre on Sydney Street

For Jones, the continued evolution of the hospital is key and a highlight for 2017 will be the opening of their new oncology centre on 102 Sydney Street with Leaders in Oncology Care (LOC). In addition to their current diagnosis and surgery services, from May, the Lister will have a new oncology service line working in partnership with LOC to care for patients undergoing oncology treatment.

Due to its brilliant reputation for looking after, not only its patients, but also its staff, The Lister is able to work with the cream of the crop consultants from around Britain, and the world, who apply there for practicing privileges. Jones puts this down to the family atmosphere that the hospital enjoys due to its small size, exceptional patient care and consistently cutting-edge treatments often acting as the pilot site for new projects.

Under the umbrella of the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) that presides over a prestigious network of some of London’s most respected hospitals, Jones believes that the support and funding from the HCA has been invaluable in their development.  
“We have the capital and support from the HCA, the drive for innovation, and that absolute red line for the quality of patient care, nothing matters more than that. For us, it’s about moving forward and constantly striving for exceptional care, it feels really great just to be part of it.”    

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