The must-read stories and debate in health policy and leadership.

A northern acute trust has announced its new chief executive, who will join in October.

Len Richards, the current CEO at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, will take the helm at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust.

He will replace Martin Barkley, who is retiring after five years in the top job at the trust.

Mr Richards has had a career in the health sector spanning more than 30 years and has overseen significant mergers which formed Barts Health in London and Central Manchester Trust.

But he left his first chief executive job at Wirral Hospitals Trust under a cloud in 2011 after 200 of his senior doctors passed a ‘no confidence’ motion in his leadership. The doctors were angry about decisions including a proposed merger of vascular surgery.

Mr Richards will take over a trust which is currently rated as “requires improvement” by the Care Quality Commission. In 2018 the CQC found significant improvements had taken place to the culture of the organisation under Mr Barkley’s leadership, but said the trust’s leaders “were not fully sighted on some of the risks in the organisation”. 

A taxing issue

Ministers are patting themselves on the back five years on from introducing measures to curb the country’s top-earning senior managers in the health service.

The Department of Health and Social Care told the senior salaries review body that the upper quartile level of very senior manager pay fell by 4.7 per cent between 2016 and 2019.

It is being hailed as a success by the government after legislation was first brought in by then health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

What it may overlook, conveniently or otherwise, is what role the pension tax taper has played in the intervening period since then.