WORKFORCE: Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust is unlikely to have a permanent replacement for Duncan Selbie until at least the start of next year.

Trust chair Julian Lee told the trust’s latest board meeting that interviews were due to take place in late November or early December, after an initial search earlier in the autumn failed to find a suitable candidate.

It will therefore be six months since the well-respected Mr Selbie left the trust after five years in post. He was confirmed in April as the first chief executive of Public Health England.

This will also leave the new chief executive with little time to settle in before the trust is due to submit its foundation trust application to the Department of Health in April.

Since Mr Selbie’s departure, finance director Chris Adcock has led the trust on an interim basis.

However, the £535m turnover trust would appear to be an attractive proposition, despite its lack of foundation status and 2012-13 surplus target of £2.9m.

It cleared a historical debt of £34m in 2009, hosts one of the country’s newest medical schools and remains on track to receive £420m for a public capital development programme that will allow it to rebuild its main site without a private finance initiative.