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A trust that has been hit by major maternity scandals over the past five years is proposing to share its chair with a neighbouring provider, its leaders have announced.

Fresh from being given an improved “requires improvement” rating by the Care Quality Commission, up from “inadequate”, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust is now planning to appoint a “chair in common” with the nearby community trust.

The move will see SaTH and Shropshire Community Health Trust work more closely together.

Both organisations said they have been collaborating more in recent months, including on rehabilitation services, virtual wards, and antibiotic therapies.

SaTH remains a challenged organisation in terms of performance and receives intensive support from NHS England, as does its host system Shropshire, Telford, and Wrekin integrated care system. Meanwhile, Shropshire Community Health Trust is judged as “good” by the CQC and is far smaller, although its services stretch into Wales and the Black Country.

It follows many other acute providers sharing leadership with community services in their patches. 

HSJ revealed in March that over a third of English trusts now share their chair or CEO with others, with the effect more marked among acute and acute/community combined trusts, with 40 per cent sharing leadership.

Potter’s feet of clay?

The Northern Care Alliance has suffered a dramatic fall from grace over the last two years, including CQC downgrades, safety scandals in its spinal division, and dire financial performance.

Chief executive Owen Williams has already stated publicly that the trust’s reputation under the previous leadership had been overly inflated.

According to sources, he therefore thought it was inappropriate for the new £70m major trauma hospital at Salford Royal to be named the “James Potter Building” in tribute to long-serving former chair Jim Potter, as had been planned.

The new facility has finally opened this month after various delays, under the does-what-it-says-on-the-tin name, of Greater Manchester Major Trauma Hospital.

Mr Potter’s name has been relegated to a commemorative plaque instead.

Also on

In Recovery Watch, Matt Discombe looks at claims by NHS England’s urgent care lead that 40 per cent of patients in major accident and emergency departments can be cared for in other “urgent treatment” facilities, and we report that Andrea Sutcliffe is stepping down from her role as chief executive of the Nursing and Midwifery Council due to ill health.