Sir Julian Hartley visits Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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05 April 2024

Julian Hartley
Chief Executive

Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) NHS Foundation Trust is a leading general hospital providing emergency, surgical and medical care for the local population of half a million people in Cambridge, South and East Cambridgeshire. The trust also serves as a regional centre for excellence for a range of specialist services, including organ transplantation, neurosciences, paediatrics and genetics, for a population of six million people across the East of England. The trust is a national centre for treatment of rare and complex conditions.

On arrival at Addenbrooke's hospital, I was particularly struck by the size of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus – of which CUH is an integral partner. It’s Europe's largest life-sciences cluster, co-locating world-class biomedical research institutes, patient care and education on a single site to foster collaboration that improves lives. The trust has ambitions to deliver two new specialist hospitals on the site – the Cambridge Children’s Hospital and the Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital.

I began my visit with a roundtable discussion with chair Mike More, chief operating officer Nicola Ayton and Eilish Midlane, chief executive of the neighbouring Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (also on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus). The trust is grappling with familiar challenges such as an increasing demand for services due to a growing local population, compounded by an emergency department and wider estate already at capacity.









I had a fascinating discussion with Dr Padmalal Gurugama and lead clinical nurse specialist Jacqui Galloway, part of the team leading gene editing research into hereditary angioedema – a genetic disorder affecting roughly one in 50,000 people. I heard of the transformational benefits the therapy’s brought to patients involved in the study, underlining the trust’s position as a leader in clinical and medical innovation.

I toured the day surgery unit and the movement surgical hub. The day surgery unit is a great example of the trust working hard to deliver first-rate care and better outcomes for patients, while easing pressure on the main hospital wards. The movement surgical hub, which opened in November 2023, is a fantastic example of the trust’s efforts to shorten waiting lists for routine orthopaedic procedures. The dedicated space is designed to maximise the hub’s productivity and efficiency, with a one-way flow system factoring in necessary clinical adjacencies to ensure patients receive high-quality care and reduce length of stay.

The final stop was the Rosie Hospital – a regional centre of excellence for maternity care – to witness the LocANTS cloud-based platform work in action. The platform allows consultants in Cambridge to remotely monitor babies in hospitals across the region, allowing virtual examinations and conversations with local staff. Parents from across the region have really embraced and championed the initiative; it gives them an extra layer of reassurance that their baby is constantly supervised by a team of specialists.

I left Cambridge University Hospitals reflecting on the hard work of staff developing innovative solutions to constantly improve patient care and services. I also left with an element of excitement for the trust's future, with two brand new hospitals on site over the coming years. The estate at CUH is surrounded by valued partners from academia and industry; collaboration really can deliver world-class solutions for patients.

About the author

Julian Hartley profile picture

Julian Hartley
Chief Executive

Sir Julian Hartley joined as chief executive in February 2023, having been chief executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals since 2013, where he led a major programme of culture change and staff engagement to deliver improved quality, operational and financial performance.

Julian’s career in the NHS began as a general management trainee and he worked in a number of posts before progressing to a board director appointment at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust.

In 2019 Julian was asked to be the executive lead for the interim NHS People Plan, having previously worked as managing director of NHS Improving Quality, and in 2022 he was awarded Knight Bachelor for services to healthcare in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Read more

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