Lancashire Care Foundation Trust has appointed a mental health chief from Staffordshire as its new leader.

Caroline Donovan, chief executive of North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare Trust, has been appointed to the top role at Lancashire Care FT.

Ms Donovan will take over from current chief Heather Tierney-Moore next spring. Ms Tierney-Moore has been chief executive of Lancashire Care for 10 years and announced her departure this April.

Ms Donovan, who has been at North Staffordshire Combined Trust since 2014, will be moving from a provider with a turnover of just £85m to one with a turnover of more than £345m. 

In August 2017, Ms Donovan was forced to deny rumours her trust was set to merge with Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership Trust and South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare Foundation Trust. These two trusts have since merged to create the new Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust

In a statement, Ms Donovan said: “I will have worked as part of the Combined family for nearly 10 years by the time I leave and it has really felt like being part of a family.

“I am truly proud of what we have achieved together, dramatically improving the quality of the services we provide, establishing a culture of openness and compassion, and all the time sustaining financial balance.” 

David Eva, chair for Lancashire Care FT, said: “We are delighted to have appointed Caroline following a rigorous selection process involving staff, service users, carers, local stakeholders, commissioners and NHS Improvement.

”Caroline has a clinical background and a breadth of experience that she is bringing to the Trust gained from over 30 years working in the NHS. We are in the process of confirming a start date and look forward to having her join us.”

This story was updated on 15 November at 9:48 with a comment from Lancashire Care FT.