WORKFORCE: Philippa Slinger, the interim chief of troubled Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals Foundation Trust, has said she plans to apply for the role of permanent chief executive.

Ms Slinger is currently on secondment from Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust. She took over in late October from Julie Burgess, who stepped down for health reasons, and her term is set to expire at the end of April.

She told HSJ that Heatherwood and Wexham Park had unsuccessfully attempted to recruit a permanent chief executive around Christmas.

Ms Slinger expects the trust to reopen the process this month. “I’ve said I’d be happy to be considered for the substantive appointment,” she said.

“I have said I will apply – I would like the job. I think it is doable and I feel positive about the future of the trust.”

She also said the trust was “pretty much on track” to sign its contract for 2012-13 by 31 March this year. Although doubts remain over the long-term, she does not expect there to be “significant changes” to its activity levels next year.

Ms Slinger predicted the trust would report a £14m deficit at the end of 2011-12 be set a tough cost improvement plan next year.