WORKFORCE: Andrew Foster, the chief executive of Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust, is to be seconded to Heart of England Foundation Trust as interim chief executive.

The vacancy was created by Mark Newbold’s resignation in November, which came shortly after Monitor took regulatory action at the troubled West Midlands trust in relation to concerns about waiting times and mortality.

Mr Foster will work at Heart of England four days a week from mid February for a maximum period of six months. Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh will also provide the trust with support in areas including staff engagement, quality improvement and communications.

He will replace Andrew Catto, who stepped up to interim chief executive after Mr Newbold’s departure. Dr Catto returns to his previous role of medical director but will also now become interim deputy chief executive.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh won the provider trust of the year award at the 2014 HSJ Awards.

Mr Foster said that his secondment was “in line with the Dalton Review” and a “recognition of the success and high performance achieved by WWL over recent years”.

Les Lawrence, Heart of Englanf’s chair, said: “I am delighted that we have agreed terms with WWL for the provision of support and welcome Andrew Foster to join HEFT as interim chief executive.

“Andrew is a well-known figure in the NHS with excellent experience of dealing with complex organisational and cultural change.”

During the secondment period, Robert Forster, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh’s deputy chief executive, will become acting chief executive with responsibility for the day to day running of the trust. Mr Foster will be on hand one day a week to support the executive team.

Since the resignation of Mr Newbold, Heart of England has been seeking support from high performing trusts and working with organisations such as the King’s Fund as part of an “integrated leadership support and resilience programme”.