Wednesday, 02 December 2015

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Hospital trust unveils new leadership team

North Cumbria’s hospitals have unveiled a new permanent leadership team.

Ann Farrar photo
Ann Farrar

A number of board-level posts had been filled with temporary directors due to a pending takeover by the Northumbria Healthcare trust.

But that was delayed after North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary and Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital, was put into special measures following concerns by inspectors.

Now, following the appointment of a permanent chief executive, Ann Farrar, and chairman, Gina Tiller, the board has also strengthened the leadership team with several new and substantive appointments.

The new chief operating officer, Helen Ray, joins from South Tyneside where she has spent the past nine years as chief operating officer.

Originally qualifying as a nurse in 1986, she has worked in the north east NHS in management positions since 2001.

Appointed as director of strategy is Debbie Freake, who joins from ‘buddy trust’ Northumbria Healthcare, where she was director of integration and acquisition.

Prior to this, she worked at board level in various NHS organisations, including medical director and deputy chief executive at Newcastle Primary Care Trust. Prior to that she was a GP for 12 years.

The trust’s new director of nursing and midwifery is Gail Naylor, currently director of nursing, midwifery and operations at Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust.

An experienced nurse and midwife she will continue to practice both when she joins North Cumbria next month.

The board has also confirmed the permanent appointment of medical director Dr Jeremy Rushmer, who joined the trust as the same time as Mrs Farrar in September 2012 from Northumbria Healthcare on a temporary basis.

Interim director of finance Steve Shanahan has also been appointed into a permanent position. He joined the trust in November 2012 from Oxford University Hospitals.

Commenting on the appointments, Mrs Farrar said: “I am delighted that we now have a full executive leadership team in place to help us drive forward more positive changes and keep up the momentum on our journey of continuous improvement.

“We have come a long way in the past 12 months and our staff have done a truly outstanding job in delivering some of our key improvements to date.

“Having the new executive leadership team in place now gives us further stability as we continue to move forward and maintain the pace of change, as we all work towards emerging from special measures and the acquisition by Northumbria.”

It is not clear what will happen to the current board once the takeover goes ahead. As yet there is no estimated date for this to be completed.

New chairman Ms Tiller added: “Our new executive leadership team all have very strong track records in high performing NHS organisations and bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our hospitals in North Cumbria.

“This is another positive step forward for our trust and will give further stability to our frontline teams.

“Our collective focus now is on increasing our performance to a level that will lift us out of special measures so that the acquisition with our buddy trust can take place.”


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