Meet the new chief of St George’s, a woman with a history of getting the job done.

Jacqueline Totterdell has "always enjoyed helping people", with a health care "fascination" since she was a teenager.

After "flunking" her A-levels, she left school and did a nursing course. 15 years later she was offered a management opportunity at Leeds General Infirmary. Under her watch, waiting times went down from five months to six weeks.

From there, Jacqueline’s career skyrocketed.

She has an impressive track record of delivering performance improvement in challenged trusts and has acted as Chief Operating Officer at The Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust and Chief Executive of Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

As Chief Executive of West Middlesex University NHS Trust she helped steer its merger with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Before starting at St George’s Jacqueline was Chief Operating Officer at Barts Health.

A change for the better

St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which in March forecast a deficit of £71million, was put into special measures following a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection.

Everything aside from the caring nature of the staff, which received a 'good' rating, required improvement.

Enter Jacqueline, who is honest about the challenges faced- response times, finance, unnecessary time spent at the hospital and resources used inefficiently to name a few.

She said: "There is no St George riding over a hill to try and save us.

"It’s down to us and I fully intend to lead us through this period into somewhere great where St George’s should be."

She highlights the need to have an overarching strategy so everyone has the same goals, a "one team, one plan" approach "making sure our plans are succinct across all areas".

The hospital needs to be a well-oiled machine, functioning at its peak at every level.

Reducing length of stay means making sure that when patients are fit to go home they have a clear treatment plan and the medications they need as soon as possible.

Theatres need to start on time in the morning because a delay will affect the entire day, with some surgeries cancelled as a result.

Fixing St George’s is undoubtedly a mammoth task and everyone working together well involves excellent management.

Jaqueline’s background is a positive indication the task can be done. She also knows the most important asset of any hospital is its staff.

She said: "The staff are brilliant. They work so well with patients despite the challenges St George’s faces."

In May, when she started, Jacqueline has held four staff briefings. The 1,000 staff members who attended were asked to write on post-it notes what they love about St George’s, and what they find frustrating.

She said: "It’s very important to listen to staff and respond to their concerns.

"The staff complained about the length of the recruitment process- we have brought it down by three weeks."

Things are looking up for the hospital and as Jacqueline said: "Everyone wants St George’s to succeed."