MEDICAL staff in Dorset got the chance to pose their thorniest questions to health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The minister visited Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester yesterday in a series of private visits to hospitals in the county.

Staff had the chance to pose questions to Mr Hunt, covering topics including workforce, investment in social care, Brexit and its effect on staffing, and the removal of bursaries for nurses in training.

Following the visit, Mr Hunt praised Dorset's medical professionals for their 'enthusiasm and hard work'.

Mr Hunt met staff at Dorset County Hospital, as well as the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and Poole Hospital.

Media were not invited to attend the events.
The minister addressed staff at each hospital, saying that safety was a key focus for the health service.

In Dorchester he spoke to staff working in various departments at the hospital as part of a presentation on patient safety, visited the Emergency Department and took part in a question and answer session.

Hospital staff also outlined their successes, including how DCH has reduced grade two pressure ulcers by 71 per cent. This has been done by improving education in managing patients who are at high risk of developing ulcers.

Mr Hunt said: "It was excellent to meet NHS staff in Dorset. What really stood out was their enthusiasm and hard work to make sure colleagues at every level can speak up and take part in making your hospitals as safe as they can be.

"People across Dorset should be proud of the NHS staff who look after them."

Speaking after the visit, Nicky Lucey, director of nursing and quality at Dorset County Hospital, said: “The clinical teams were very proud to share the outcomes of the improvements in safe care they have made by working with partners and patients across the health and care system.”

Robert Talbot, medical director at Poole Hospital added: “We were delighted to welcome the minister for this during a private and informal visit today to meet staff and hear how we're putting safety at the heart of what we do."