• Norfolk and Norwich appoints David White as its new chair
  • Mr White joins from East Suffolk and North Essex FT after overseeing major merger
  • Inadequate-rated trust has pledged to turn itself into “outstanding” provider

Inadequate-rated Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Foundation Trust has appointed an experienced chair.

The special measures trust’s governors confirmed the appointment of David White, East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust’s current chair, at a meeting on 24 April.

Mr White, who joined Ipswich and Colchester Hospitals in 2015 and oversaw the hospitals’ ambitious merger into the newly-created ESNEFT last year, will join NNUH in June.

One of the experienced chair’s first tasks will be to select a new chief executive, as incumbent Mark Davies announced in January he would step down in the autumn after four years at the helm.

The trust also needs to secure major quality, cultural and performance improvements after being placed in special measures in June 2018. The Care Quality Commission cited “deterioration in how the trust was being run” and a “bullying culture”.

Mr White, a former London social worker, has held a number of senior public sector managerial positions, including as chief executive of the former Suffolk Health Authority in 1994. The Norfolk resident has also been the chief executive of Thurrock Council and Norfolk County Council.

He said in a statement: “Joining [NNUH] is an amazing opportunity and I am looking forward immensely to working with the teams and meeting staff and patients. NNUH is a teaching hospital on a journey to outstanding and I am very much looking forward to being part of that.”

Outgoing chair John Fry said: “It has been an enormous privilege to serve as chairman at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals – our staff are dedicated, talented and extremely caring and the trust is firmly set on its journey to outstanding.”

Mr Davies said: “We look forward to welcoming David to the trust and benefitting from his experience and insights to steer us on this next part of our journey to outstanding.”