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NHS news blog: Monitor appoints new chief and chair to 'challenged' foundation trust

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A foundation trust has been assigned a new chief executive by Monitor for the second time in eight months.

The regulator has appointed Kirsty Matthews as interim chief of the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases foundation trust, in Bath, it announced yesterday.

The regulator hired Ms Matthews as interim chair of the trust in December. Stephen Cole, who was yesterday named interim chair, was hired in December as director of corporate strategy.

All the appointments have been made under formal interventions by Monitor.

Salisbury foundation trust chief operating officer Peter Hill was seconded as interim chief executive of the trust in September, but he is returning to Salisbury.

Monitor first formally intervened at the foundation in August after it had to restate accounts to record an increase in losses from £40,000 to £650,000 in 2006-07 and £429,000 in 2007-08.

It told the foundation to “resolve the chief executive’s position”, and chief Nicola Carmichael later resigned.

Monitor said in a statement yesterday: “The view of the trust and Monitor is that Peter Hill’s imminent departure as interim CEO will create a pivotal gap in the trust’s executive leadership, at a time of critical challenge for the hospital as it decides upon a partner organisation for merger and its future strategic direction.”

The trust’s “significant and immediate challenges” include the delivery of a demanding recovery plan, a potential merger with another organisation and changes to the tariff in the current financial year.

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