A long-serving trust chief executive is the new director of the financially troubled Institute of Health Services Management, following the departure of Karen Caines.

Stuart Marples, chief executive of Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals trust, is a surprise choice for the post, which he is unlikely to take on until 'late summer'.

That leaves deputy director Suzanne Tyler at the helm for the organisation's annual conference in June, when the IHSM is due to merge with the Association of Managers in General Practice.

Mr Marples, who began his career as an administrative trainee in Sheffield, said: 'I don't anticipate this will be an easy job. I wouldn't want it if it was.'

But he said the IHSM's decision to appoint a trust chief executive would bring the organisation 'an element of credibility about what the issues are in the service and in what order the troops feel the tasks should be tackled'.

'I've been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. I hope that will help,' he said.

Mr Marples admited he has a low profile. 'I don't really talk to the newspapers and that sort of thing,' he told HSJ.

He has spent almost half his 30-year career in Bournemouth, first as a unit general manager and, since 1992, as chief executive.

'I don't think the job of trust chief executive is particularly easy. However, I wouldn't be taking on this job if I didn't think it was even more challenging,' he said.

He is open about some of the problems facing the organisation.

'I certainly feel that we need to increase the membership base and I am keen to do that. The fact that I am a chief executive and the fact that I have a commitment to develop educational and management development will, I hope, support that.'

Mr Marples described his 'own major interest area in management education and my hope to boost that area' as a 'strong clue' to the likely future direction of an organisation, which he said needed to 'look to a new generation of managers'. He said 'targeting students' would form an important part of any membership push.

His interest in education has brought him into a wide range of organisations, including the NHS Workforce of the Future working party, South and West management development forum and the IHSM's own awards boards.

IHSM chair John Brunt, chief executive of Bolton Hospitals trust, said Mr Marples would bring an 'invigorating blend of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm' to the Institute of Healthcare Management following the merger.

Dorset health authority chief executive Ian Carruthers described Mr Marples as 'an outstanding choice' and a 'caring man committed to improving healthcare systems', adding: 'We will be really sad to see him go. He has made an outstanding contribution to healthcare locally.'

He said Mr Marples' experience in management education and active involvement with the IHSM made him 'ideal for the job'.