• Troubled trust’s finance director has been persuaded to stay, a month after he announced he was quitting

The finance director who opted to quit his hospital trust to ”be held to account” has now decided not to resign after all.

HSJ has learnt Nick Swift will no longer be leaving Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust, having announced in November he would step down as chief financial officer.

The former British Airways executive joined BHRUT in September 2018 and was planning to depart in February, after October financial results showed the trust was not finding savings quickly enough to meet its efficiency plan for the year.

Senior executives at the trust and service leaders at NHS London region have apparently used the intervening month to change his mind. He will remain at the trust on the same salary, the trust told HSJ.

In mid-November, chief executive Chris Bown sent a message to staff saying Mr Swift believed “he should be held to account for the fact we are not where we should be”.

Mr Bown said he was “disappointed he has decided to leave, but I respect his decision”. There had been no pressure on him from the board or regulators to make this decision, a trust spokesman told HSJ at the time.

Mr Bown told HSJ he was “delighted” Mr Swift had decided to stay at the trust. He said Mr Swift had had “extensive discussions with the board, clinical leaders and NHS London, and everyone was keen for him to remain in post”.

Mr Swift said he had been “very heartened” by the support he has received, “which has reinforced my belief that whilst our financial recovery has been too slow, we can build on the work Chris Bown has led”.

Mr Bown will be leaving the trust in January having joined as interim chief executive in August 2018. Tony Chambers, formerly the chief executive of the Countess of Chester Hospital Foundation Trust, will join as an interim on a fixed contract up to April 2021 when the trust plans to appoint a substantive chief executive.

The new chief executive will run both BHRUT and its neighbouring mental health trust, North East London FT, as a provider group.