A new permanent chief executive has been appointed at Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust.

  • Roland Sinker from King’s College Hospital FT will take on CEO role and Sir Ron Kerr from Guy’s and St Thomas’ FT will be special adviser
  • Previous CEO, Keith McNeil, left shortly before trust placed in special measures
  • King’s chair praises Mr Sinker’s “great leadership”

Roland Sinker, who is currently acting chief executive at King’s College Hospital FT, has been appointed by Monitor and the trust.

Sir Ron Kerr, who recently retired from his chief executive role at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust, will be a part time special adviser to the trust’s board.

They will both take on their new roles from 16 November.

Roland Sinker

Roland Sinker will take on his new role on 16 November

Sir Ron will work with the trust’s board alongside his existing role at Guy’s and St Thomas’ as executive vice chair.

Mr Sinker has 10 years of operational and strategy experience. He was previously chief operating officer at King’s for six years and prior to this, was strategy director at the trust.

Addenbrooke’s previous chief executive, Keith McNeil, left the trust shortly before the publication of a critical Care Quality Commission report which led to the trust being placed in special measures.

Dr McNeil challenged the CQC’s decision to place the trust in special measures. He told BBC local radio: “People’s lives are saved every day by that hospital. I cannot see why anybody would want to describe it as inadequate.”

However, he admitted he lacked the “granular detail around management” required for the role.

In an internal note to King’s staff, seen by HSJ, chair Sir Bob Kerslake said Mr Sinker had taken over the chief executive role there “at a particularly challenging time for the trust and has shown great leadership in driving forward the turnaround”.

He added: “Roland has worked with many of you over the years, and has really left his mark on this organisation. CUH is fortunate to be welcoming someone with his wealth of experience as their new chief executive.”

Since taking over the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley in 2013, King’s has struggled with a decline in waiting times and had an in-year deficit of £48.4m at the end of August.

Previous chief executive Tim Smart left the trust in April.

David Bennett, chief executive of Monitor, said: “Patients in Cambridge rightly expect that their local hospital will provide them with quality care. So it was deeply concerning when the trust went into special measures in September.

“Today’s appointments provide Cambridge University Hospitals with the strong leadership and extensive NHS experience that it needs to be able to deliver the improvements we all expect.”