The must-read stories and debate in health policy and leadership.
- This week’s expert briefing on recovery: Will the planning guidance’s approach be enough?
- Today’s thoughts on representation: Legislation must require clinical and lay members on ICS boards
You’d be forgiven for struggling to keep up with who is in charge at Northampton General Hospital Trust.
The hospital has borrowed an interim CEO — Eileen Doyle — from sister trust Kettering General Hospital Foundation Trust in exchange for its own chief executive, Deborah Needham. In a few months, Care Quality Commission deputy chief inspector Heidi Smoult will take over from Doyle.
Both hospital chief executives sit under group CEO Simon Weldon, who took up the position last July after two years leading KGH FT. He believes Ms Smoult’s appointment will help develop the trusts’ group model further. Perhaps it also signals a halt to this mini CEO merry-go-round. Ms Smoult herself says she is excited to “harness the power of collaboration” at the trust and hopes the group model will help improve services across the county.
But the decision to appoint a senior CQC inspector has certainly ruffled some feathers among HSJ’s readers. While some have praised Ms Smoult’s experience with the health service, others have questioned the wisdom of choosing a candidate fresh from the CQC, an organisation often under fire in hospital management circles.
Return from Oz?
When someone starkly warns you are facing a “mass exodus” of staff unless urgent action is taken, you tend to sit up and take notice.
London Ambulance Service Trust chair Heather Lawrence cautioned executives at a board meeting this week that it has a “window of opportunity which is closing by the day”.
It comes amid fears the service’s 500 Australian paramedics, who comprise around a quarter of its total, could face visa issues when they fly home on leave this summer.
Current rules could make that tricky and other employers may look on with a sense of slight dread.