WORKFORCE: Unison has criticised the “football managers approach to NHS management” at Croydon Health Services Trust.

Regional officer Michael Walker said staff at the trust were “very concerned” after the departure of chief executive Nick Hulme last week, and likened the situation to the notoriously short tenure of those appointed to run football teams.

Mr Hulme is the third chief executive to leave during the tenure of chairman Brian Philpott, who was appointed in January 2006.

Mr Walker said: “We would urge local GPs, MPs and councillors of all parties to rally in support of their local hospital and ensure stability going forward.

“It cannot be right that in the past few years the trust has had a succession of short-term chief executives. What we urgently need is stability in order that Croydon can meet the many challenges the NHS faces.

“A football managers approach to NHS management is neither desirable or wanted by staff.”

Vanessa Woods was chief executive from November 2003 until May 2006, Helen Walley took the role from June 2006 until April 2009 with Mr Hulme starting in July 2009 and leaving in February.

Deputy chief executive and finance director Tony Leonard is acting chief executive while interim arrangements are finalised.

Mr Hulme has taken up a new “strategic support” post at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust.