Exclusive interview: NHS chief executive talks to NWN about Newbury upbringing
Simon Stevens, a former St Bartholomew’s School pupil, also said there was a possibility that the hospital could be expanded in the future to provide additional services.
Mr Stevens was speaking exclusively to the Newbury Weekly News following a tour of the hospital recently, when he met patients and staff.
He said: “What we want to see is frankly, in many places, more developments like the one we have here in West Berkshire hospital – with more GP services coming together with the outpatients services from the hospitals, mental health services and community nursing.
“Where I think Newbury has it right is, here is a community hospital that is doing lots of things and saving people having to make the trip to Oxford, Reading, Basingstoke and Swindon.
“The discussions I have just had with doctors and nurses here were about how this hospital could be expanded in the future to take on more services.
“I think in a lot of ways this hospital is a role model in the way in which we could expand the NHS.”
Mr Stevens moved to Newbury with his parents at the age of 11, and attended sixth form at St Bartholomew’s School.
He went on to study at Balliol College, Oxford, and from there started his 26-year career in the health service as a graduate trainee in the NHS.
Asked if he manages to get back to Newbury, Mr Stevens joked: “Obviously my mum thinks not enough, but I always try to get back for Christmas.
“This year (2014) I spent Boxing Day here. It was very nice being back in Newbury for the Christmas break.
“My grandparents have actually taken the kids to see Paddington at the Corn Exchange, having taken them to see Aladdin there two days previously, so they have experienced the full Christmas entertainment package that the Corn Exchange has to offer.
Speaking about growing his time at St Bart's he added:“There was a good mix of great teachers, kids and good activities. I remember sailing over at Theale gravel pits and I also played in the school hockey team. It was a very happy time in my life."
For the full interview, pick up a copy of this week's Newbury Weekly News.