A NEW boss is in place at the trust which runs Andover War Memorial Hospital.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s new chief nurse Julie Dawes has spoken about her excitement at starting in her new role.

Nurse of 37 years Julie has joined the trust from the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, where she was chief nurse and interim chief executive.

She has pledged to put patients first and to be a strong leader for midwives, nurses and associated health professionals across north Hampshire.

Julie said: “I’m very excited about getting started and I’m really looking forward to working with staff across the trust.

“I really believe in being honest. When I’m talking to colleagues and patients, I don’t want them to sugar-coat things for me, I want them to tell me how it is.”

Julie also praised her predecessor, Donna Green, who recently retired after 27 years at Hampshire Hospital.

She added: “I have a really high regard for Donna Green and everything she achieved as chief nurse of this trust.

“We have been colleagues for many years and I know that I am coming to build on a really good platform."

Before joining Southern Health, Julie was director of nursing and operations, as well as the acting deputy chief executive at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation trust.

In her new role, she plans to be out and about every week getting to know her staff and listening to their views to help improve services.

Hampshire Hospitals is responsible for hospitals in Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester, providing a service to around 570,000 people in Hampshire and areas of West Berkshire.

Hampshire Hospitals’ chief executive, Alex Whitfield, expressed her delight at welcoming Julie into her position.

Speaking on the selection process, Alex said: “Julie demonstrated herself to be an outstanding candidate with a very strong connection to front line staff.

"She has been a director of nursing for a variety of organisations and brings experience of acute, community and mental health services.”

She added: “I look forward to her using that experience to help us deliver on our vision to provide outstanding care for every patient.”