• “Outstanding” Northamptonshire Healthcare FT’s chief executive to also lead Leicestershire Partnership Trust
  • Trusts have been in buddy relationship since February
  • Trust chair stresses this is not a merger

Two East Midlands community and mental health trusts will share a chief executive, it has been announced. 

Angela Hillery, chief executive of Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust since 2013, will also take on the chief executive role at Leicestershire Partnership Trust. 

Peter Miller, LPT’s current chief executive, announced earlier this year he would be retiring after six years in the role. 

LPT has been in a “buddy” relationship with outstanding-rated NHFT since February 2019, when LPT was rated “requires improvement” by the Care Quality Commission, including an “inadequate” rating for well-led. LPT said Ms Hillery’s appointment was an extension of the buddy scheme.

“Undoubtedly LPT have been on a journey as they focus on improving care, areas of development and building on their areas of good practice such as innovation and compassionate patient care,” said Ms Hillery. “I look forward to working with the team at LPT on the next steps of this journey, with a continued focus on the health and wellbeing of those who we provide services to and the colleagues who work as part of the team.”

Ms Hillery stressed her commitment to NHFT would not change, adding: “In every decision I make in my role as chief executive I consider the outcomes, wellbeing and needs of everyone involved in NHFT. I will bring this same focus and commitment into this new shared role.”

However, Ms Hillery will step away from her role as system lead for the Northampton Health and Care Partnership, which she has carried out since late 2017, to take up the LPT role. She will remain on the NHCP board.

Cathy Ellis, chair of LPT, added: “Following our recent CQC inspection, it was identified that LPT would particularly benefit from strengthening our leadership and governance arrangements. Angela comes with an impressive track record and this appointment is a positive step in our improvement journey.”

Ms Ellis added the appointment was not a “precursor to a merger between [the] trusts, but a focus on improving care for patients and service users”.

An NHS England and Improvement spokesperson said: “We welcome the appointment of Angela to the role of shared chief executive. We believe Angela brings the track record and dedication to support both LPT and NHFT in the next steps of their journey.”

Ms Hillery has worked in the NHS for 30 years and held a variety of leadership positions. She has a clinical background as a speech and language therapist and served on the national management board of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy.

She was also named one of HSJ’s top 50 NHS chief executives in 2018 and 2019