Mark Brassington, chief operating officer at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, explains how a number of roles, including divisional managing director, will help the organisation meet its ambitious plan of transformation

Mark Brassington qualified originally as a physiotherapist working across all aspects of hospital and community services. In 2004, he joined the Management Training Scheme working across primary and secondary care.

Mark’s qualifications include a BSc from University of the West of England and MSc from University of Birmingham and Manchester. Mark is also a Health Foundation Fellow. On leaving the scheme, he worked in a variety of roles across primary care before moving back into hospitals.

Mark joined ULHT from Nottingham University Hospitals where he managed large complex directorates, established a large hospital change programme and most recently was the deputy chief operating officer responsible for improving emergency care.

Mark joined ULHT in January 2014 as deputy director of operations, became acting director for performance improvement in November 2014 and latterly chief operating officer from November 2015.

Why these jobs?

At United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, we are transforming the way in which we are organised, to ensure we deliver streamlined services and high quality care for our patients whilst achieving our performance and financial targets. Our new Trust Operating Model is being implemented from April 2019 and we will move to four clinical divisions: surgery; medicine; women’s and children; and clinical support services.

Each of our four divisions will be headed by a clinically led triumvirate with a divisional clinical director. This position will be supported by a divisional managing director. The third position in the medicine and surgery division will be a divisional nurse, in women and children’s a divisional head of midwifery and nursing and in clinical support services a clinical lead who may be a registered professional from any relevant clinical discipline. We are seeking experienced leaders for our:

  • Four divisional managing director positions;
  • Divisional nurses for medicine and surgery;
  • Divisional clinical lead for clinical support services;
  • Divisional head of midwifery and nursing.

ULHT is a large and complex healthcare provider. We continue to experience some significant challenges and we are currently placed in financial and quality special measures by our regulators. We are directly addressing these challenges with an ambitious and clearly laid out plan of transformation which includes the implementation of our new Trust Operating Model.  

The model is currently being piloted on an interim basis and through this we are already seeking evidence of the improvements. Our Quality Improvement plan has supported an improvement in our Care Quality Commission rating from Inadequate to Requires Improvement, our Financial Recovery Plan is in place and we have seen improvements in our cancer 62 day performance and 52 week target. This is the start of an exciting journey.

The design of our new model has been developed in collaboration with our clinicians and follows a robust independent review by KPMG.  These leadership roles represent exciting opportunities to be part of the delivery of a true ‘One Lincolnshire’ approach where we can realise our vision of ‘excellence in rural healthcare’ through working collaboratively across the county with both internal and external partners.  

Why this trust?

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust is one of the biggest acute trusts in the country delivering services across the UK’s second largest county. With an annual income of £450m we serve a population of over 700,000 people from three acute hospital sites and several community facilities. The trust has significant challenges. However, our plans for improvement are clear and ambitious.  

This transformation will build a strong platform for our continued development and supports our ambition to be a national and international leader in the delivery of rural healthcare services. These changes also come as a new medical school is opened at Lincoln University and the Institute of Rural Healthcare is launched in Lincoln.  

The focus of our new operating model is to:

  • Move to a smaller number of directorates, focussed on groups of specialties, not sites;

  • Develop a governance model that improves decision-making, supported by clear accountability and responsibility;

  • Establish the principle that service and delivery is everyone’s business. Quality, performance and finance are core to everybody’s role;

  • Reduce variation, so that no matter where patients go they get the same high quality standard of care; and

  • Align our services so that they work more efficiently and effectively. 

The trust is in a fantastic location in the middle of the country and we are surrounded by beautiful urban and rural environments. The cost of living is relatively low and there is the opportunity to live in picturesque locations whilst having easy access to London and other major cities. The county’s reputation for excellent standards of education is well known and this is an ideal location for growing families.

How will the roles advance your career?

These roles offer ambitious leaders the opportunity to work with an experienced leadership team to deliver transformational change in the delivery of healthcare services across one of UK’s largest counties. They offer the opportunity to make your own mark in developing a culture that supports clear accountability and embraces the autonomy offered to our divisions through our new Operating Model.

We are committed to the development of our leaders through coaching and mentoring and to supporting individual career ambitions for aspirant directors and chief executives of the future. The devolved autonomy in these roles in one of the country’s largest Trusts will allow you to demonstrate your ability to operate across a multisite organisation and in a diverse and exciting geography.

To find out more about the role and apply click HSJ Jobs.