The chief executives of the two primary care trusts that achieved the lowest scores in last year’s world class commissioning governance tests are to leave their posts.

Interim chief executives from other PCTs will lead Great Yarmouth and Waveney PCT and Havering PCT – both of which scored red for strategy, finance and board in the world class commissioning assessment. 

Great Yarmouth and Waveney PCT has announced that Mike Stonard will be stepping down as chief executive, to be replaced by North East Essex PCT chief executive Paul Zollinger Read, who will retain his existing role.

Havering PCT chief executive Ralph McCormack is to leave to become interim chief executive of new PCT provider organisation Outer North East London Community Services as of 1 June.

Barnet PCT chief executive Chas Hollwey will step in as interim chief executive at Havering.

‘Better work-life balance’

Mr Stonard, who has led four PCTs over the past 10 years, said the PCT had eliminated an inherited £12m deficit and delivered significant improvements in patient services during his tenure.

In March, when the world class commissioning results were published, he told HSJ his PCT would be “a different organisation” by next year.

This week he said: “Ten years is a very long time to fulfil the highly demanding role of a chief executive in the NHS and I am putting in place more flexible working arrangements for myself, which will provide a better work-life balance than has been possible and will enable me to concentrate on areas and activities that interest me most and which I find rewarding.”

PCT chair David Edwards praised Mr Stonard’s “great integrity” and thanked him for his achievements.

Dr Zollinger-Read, who is a practising GP in addition to his two PCT roles, said he remained fully committed to North East Essex PCT but was happy to help Great Yarmouth and Waveney while the PCT looked for a permanent leader.

‘New challenges’

Outgoing Havering chief executive Mr McCormack, who has been in post for eight years, said it was time to rise to new challenges and he hoped to lead his new organisation to community foundation trust status.

Mr Hollwey said: “I welcome the opportunity to take on new challenges and have been asked to apply the learning from my Barnet experience to support NHS Havering in developing its world class [commissioning] competencies.”