Interview with Fraser Dawson, Executive Director

ED David Marshall

Fraser Dawson

Executive Director,
BMI The Chiltern Hospital

We aim to be the one stop provider of healthcare for people in our
community

Fraser, can you tell us a little about yourself, background and current role?

I started with BMI sixteen years ago in Marketing. From Marketing I went into Business Development, and from there I moved into Consultant Relationships which meant recruiting new consultants to join the company. I then joined the NHS contract management team for London and then migrated into an interim Executive Director role at two hospitals in North London. After this I moved into a permanent Executive Director role in Middlesex at BMI Bishops Wood, which was followed by the role at the BMI South Bucks hospitals: The Chiltern, The Shelburne and The Paddocks Clinic.

What makes The Chiltern different, from other private hospitals in the area?

The BMI Chiltern is unique because it has pretty much all specialities under one roof- we've got everything ranging from diagnostics and imaging, to physiotherapy and surgical. We also have our sister hospital, BMI The Shelburne in Wycombe, so it gives us the full spectrum.

In addition, we have our Cancer Care Centre and we carry out alternative therapies to enhance the patient pathway. 

Finally, the Chiltern is set within 18 acres with its own 9 hole golf course, which itself is very unique.

Can you tell us a bit more about any upcoming developments at the hospital?

We have just come to completion on our children’s unit, which means we will be able to operate on children from the age of 3 to young adults. The unit and our dedicated paediatric team will give us a great flexibility.

We have plans for refurbishing the whole outpatient area.This will bring a brand new look and feel to the hospital and then we’ve got a rolling refurbishment programme throughout the hospitals.

We are also looking at our ambulatory care facilities and integrating that into the new ways of working. There are on-going plans of development in the hospital for new services.

The most exciting is definitely the new children’s unit which will be like no other in terms of experience. The children are able to drive themselves to the theatres in a toy car. After surgery they will return to the children's unit, where each bay is named after an animal. This will give each child a unique experience and allow them to recover as well as play in a dedicated play area.

If we were having this conversation a year from now celebrating success, what do you hope we would have achieved in that time?

If we were a year on we would have successfully launched our Children’s Unit, which is integrated on our ward. We would have developed our Cancer Care Centre into the main ward as well as carried out our hospital refurbishment programme.
We would’ve also continued our room refurbishment programme, so all our rooms are more in line with the BMI look and feel.
We will have some new consultants and new specialties and we will be moving into offering alternative cancer treatments like intra-operative radiotherapy and moving into palliative services for cancer care.

It will be very different, I wish I could fast-forward to it actually.

Who do you admire in business?

I couldn’t honestly say there’s only one person- I think there’s a number of people that I’ve met over the 16 years both from within BMI and outside BMI that have inspired me to do a number of things. I was extremely fortunate in growing within the company's development programme. 

Externally I’ve worked with some extremely talented healthcare professionals, both GPs and consultants. I also have a strong sales and marketing background  which I think helped me.

Thank you for your time, do you have a final thought to share with the people of South Buckinghamshire?

What we aim to do is to absolutely be the one-stop provider of healthcare for them in the community – between us and The Shelburne.

We aim to have an outstanding level of service and level of care, along with the new look and feel of the hospital. Although some patients who visited the hospital throughout the years don't want The Chiltern to change, they understand we need to move on so there’s a combination of keeping some of the traditional look and feel and spirit of the hospital, with some more modern ways of working and changing it.

I would like to think that they will feel they have everything they need within the community, at all ages and generations. Also the services and facilities that we have, such as the golf course and the land and all these kinds of things can make people feel part of the community. In essence, we want to be the provider of choice in Buckinghamshire, and we would like to offer everything to the local people without having to go out further afield in the area.