NHS partnership move could see Worcestershire's hospitals share leadership team - The Evesham Observer

NHS partnership move could see Worcestershire's hospitals share leadership team

Evesham Editorial 6th Jun, 2023   0

A MAJOR shake-up of how Worcestershire’s hospitals, including the Worcestershire Royal, are governed has been tabled by county health bosses.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust’s (WAHT) board will meet on Thursday (June 8) to debate a plan for it to fully join the Foundation Group of NHS trusts from August 1.

Already an associate member, the proposal will see the Trust share a chief executive and chairman with Wye Valley, George Eliot and South Warwickshire NHS Trusts if given the green light.

Current CEO Glen Burley would assume the role of trust chief executive on August 1 following the departure of current boss Matthew Hopkins the previous day (July 31).

While it would share leadership with the other trusts, WAHT would remain a separate autonomous organisation and would have a ‘credible and experienced’ managing director appointed by the board to support Mr Burley.

The move follows a review of the organisation in April, a month after Mr Hopkins revealed his departure for the same role at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust after four years in the role.

Established in 2017, the Foundation Group has operated under a shared leadership model for four years and was named among nine pilot schemes to showcase greater working together earlier this year.

Any change in board leadership ‘should not undermine existing clinical collaborations and aspirations’, according to board papers.

According to the report for trust board members, the propoals are backed by the county’s Integrated Care Board and regional NHS England, both of whom have offered ‘strong support’.

In addition to a change of leadership, it’s hoped the move will enhance the Trust’s bid for University Hospital Trust status to allow its hospitals in Worcester, Redditch and Kidderminster to become centres for research and education.

The trust was moved from ‘inadequate’ to ‘requires improvement’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in the latest findings revealed in April

“This latest report means that we are no longer rated inadequate in any area across any of our hospitals – which is positive news for our patients, staff and local communities,” Mr Hopkins said.

However he confirmed a detailed action plan would be ‘developed and implemented’ as it bids to rid itself of the low grading from the health watchdog.

Worcestershire’s main hospitals, including the Kidderminster Treatment Centre, were moved out of special measures after nearly five years in 2020.

Should the move be given the green light, WAHT will apply for full membership of the Foundation Group in July with the first meeting of the newly-enlarged body set for August 2.


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