• Nick Swift, a former chief financial officer at British Airways, has been appointed on an initial 10 month contract
  • Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust is one of the most financially challenged organisations in the NHS

An NHS trust with severe financial challenges has appointed a former British Airways boss as its chief financial officer.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust said Nick Swift, who was chief financial officer at the airline for six years until 2016, has been appointed on an initial 10 month contract.


In the last two years Mr Swift has been a non-executive director of East and North Herts Trust while studying for a masters’ degree in health and medical science at University College London.

BHRUHT is one of the most financially troubled organisations in the NHS.

A large cash shortfall emerged in October 2017, and subsequent investigations revealed multiple governance failings. It is currently in financial special measures and has requested more than £100m of bailout cash to maintain its payments in 2018-19.

Chris Bown, the trust’s interim chief executive, said: “We are delighted to have secured the services of someone with Nick’s extensive track record, experience and expertise. He’s the kind of person we need to be attracting to the NHS.”

Mr Swift said: “I’m really pleased to be joining the team at the trust. There will undoubtedly be challenges, but I’m looking forward to tackling them.”

Ian O’Connor, who was acting finance director from January 2018, has now left the organisation.

Meanwhile, HSJ understands a review into the culture and behaviours within the trust’s consultant body has been carried out by Deloitte, and discussions are continuing over its potential publication.

Last month, it was announced that the medical director had left the organisation on secondment.