At Mountbatten, we make every moment count for the people we look after and the people who work with us.

We spent a few moments with Chrissie Dawson, Head of Innovation Service Development, to find out more about her past, her role here, the Mountbatten culture of trust and valuing everyone, the positive environment, the development opportunities and the difference we make together.

Tell us about your career journey so far, and what brought you to Mountbatten?

Well, my career journey started in insurance at 16. I was there for 22 years but then made redundant. A friend of mine suggested the NHS and I began in an admin role before moving into Patient Advice and Liaison at Southampton Primary Care Trust. 2013 was an important year. The Department of Health recommended we needed an end-of-life commissioner and asked if I would do it. Having experienced loss in my personal life I knew how important it was to make sure we got it right. For everyone involved. And following a chance meeting with Nigel, we both recognised how my experience could benefit the future direction of Mountbatten.

Can you tell us about your role in more detail?

As Head of Innovation Service Development, my role is the strategic link between our statutory organisations. So, the NHS and local authority. I know how they work; I know the language they use. I know what will make them sit up and listen. This is vital as my role is to look at how we can become as efficient as we can, how we raise as much money as we can and how we elevate our profile as an integral partner in the whole level health and social care system. Inside Mountbatten, I work across the whole organisation. Understanding what can be made better and then working with leaders, the NHS, and the local authority to improve our service in every way.

How does your role make a difference to the people we support?

I may be behind the scenes, but everything I do is about delivering the very best care for every patient. And I know from personal experience how important it is to get everything right. So, I make sure that we leave no stone unturned to improve end of life care. Making the unbearable bearable is a huge responsibility we all share and it’s something that gives me enormous pride. This is the best job I’ve ever had, because I can see the positive impact of what I do every day.

What makes Mountbatten different for you?

Even before joining Mountbatten, I always felt like this was home. And when I joined, I felt like I was being welcomed into a family. No matter where you work, the culture of trust and support is everywhere. The people are different here. They notice the tiny things that can often become a massive challenge. And that’s true of how they support every patient and their families. But also, how they look after each other. The leaders here are brilliant. And there for you. Nigel believes an open-door policy makes us more open to conversation which leads to innovation. And he’s right. And I also think that being valued is such an important part of what makes Mountbatten different. Valued as an individual. Valued for your ideas. Valued for the difference you make.

What does the future hold?

The future is all about continuous improvement. The more ideas the Mountbatten team can come to me with, the more innovative we become. So, for me, it’s about continuing to be the strategic link between the NHS, the commissioners, and the local authority. It’s about making sure that we continue to be seen as a place that positively impacts society and relieves pressures on systems and organisations. It’s about continuing the fund-raising. By doing so, we can hire more people and deliver an even better service.

How do you make every moment count?

For me it starts with making sure I’m bringing in the financial resource. These moments count because the knock-on effect is huge. It’s also about making every moment count by trying to lead by example and being positive even in the most challenging times. And it’s about keeping that close connection with everyone who works here. A cup of tea and an ear can sometimes lead to ideas that impact Mountbatten, the patients we care for and the families who want the best for them.

Thanks for spending a few moments reading this blog. If you’d like to work with people like Chrissie, please visit our current vacancies section and make the most of this moment.