• Southern Health FT chief to take over at Oxford Health
  • Stuart Bell retiring

A mental health trust chief executive has been appointed to the top post at a neighbouring provider.

Nick Broughton, current chief at Southern Health Trust, will join Oxford Health Foundation Trust in May, taking over from Stuart Bell who is retiring following 37 years in the NHS.

Dr Broughton, a consultant psychiatrist who has held clinical and medical director roles, was previously CEO at Somerset Partnership FT. He has also worked as a director at Imperial College Healthcare Partners.

He joined Southern Health in 2017, following a turbulent period, with high-profile failures including the death of Connor Sparrowhawk, subsequent controversy over its leadership, and a Care Quality Commission prosecution. Southern Health was rated “good” by the Care Quality Commission last week, having previously been rated “requires improvement”.

Oxford Health FT is also rated “good”.

Dr Broughton said: “I am passionate about research and partnership working, so am keen to build upon the strong links with academic institutions that Oxford Health has already established.

“I have also been impressed with the progress made through the Oxford healthcare improvement programme, as I believe quality improvement is key to driving lasting change that benefits both patients and staff.”

Oxford Health is only a little larger than Southern Health, but has more research and academic links, with links to the university and as part of the Oxford academic health science centre.

Oxford Health chair David Walker said: “We are looking forward to Nick’s arrival, bringing with him extensive experience in mental health and community services, his clinical background as a practising psychiatrist and, a real bonus, his local knowledge as a resident of Oxfordshire.”