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Chief exec pays tribute to staff abused over Ashya King case


A trust chief executive has paid tribute to her “brilliant” staff after they found themselves at the centre of “an international media storm” over the case of child cancer patient Ashya King.

Five-year-old Ashya, who has a brain tumour, hit the headlines when he was reported missing when his parents removed him from the care of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust to seek treatment abroad.

“I’m so grateful to everyone who kept on doing their job”

Fiona Dalton

The trust faced criticism over its handling of the case, which saw Ashya’s parents arrested before being re-united with their son.

In her regular blog, chief executive Fiona Dalton praised the way staff coped with being under the media spotlight and said she was “humbled” by the “compassion, fortitude and forensic attention to detail under pressure” displayed by nurses and doctors from the hospital’s paediatric oncology team.

Southampton General Hospital

Fiona Dalton

“When their email boxes were full of personal abuse from strangers and there were journalists camped on their front door, they were still worrying about how we could do the best thing for a small boy in Spain,” she wrote.

She described how the furore surrounding the case had affected everyone who worked at the hospital trust with staff being questioned by public and patients, “sometimes in a very aggressive way”.

But she said she was “proud” of the way colleagues had responded, including taking on extra work.

“Through all of this we still had thousands of patients who needed care and treatment and I’m so grateful to everyone who kept on doing their job,” she wrote.

Ms Dalton said the trust was relieved Ashya was currently receiving “the treatment that he needs” at a hospital in Prague.


Readers' comments (3)

  • The usual bs from hospital executives

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  • That last paragraph is very interesting, that the trust is 'relieved' that Aysha was currently receiving "the treatment he needs".I thought the trust previously said Radiotherapy was the answer for this boy? If they now say he needs this treatment, why didn't they listen and take seriously the request for this medical treatment to be explored and talked through with his parents.Clearly they were driven to the action they took by a trust whose 'machinery' didn't listen.
    Well done for praising the staff though.

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  • some consultants are too proud of themselvies and won't listen to anybody.

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