• John Brouder stepping down as chief executive of NELFT after 10 years
  • Says it is time to let “new generation take over”
  • Trust has been very successful in taking over new community services
  • Comes as trust thought to be exploring closer links with neighbouring acute

One of the NHS’ longest-serving chief executives is stepping down after 10 years of leading a trust.

John Brouder confirmed to HSJ this morning that he was leaving North East London Foundation Trust after a decade.

The trust, which has a turnover of £317m, runs mental health services in that part of London plus community services across four London boroughs and south east Essex.

It also provides child and adolescent mental health services in Essex plus children’s services in Barnet.

Mr Brouder told HSJ: “This is a time of massive change in the NHS. I have had 10 fabulous years at NELFT – it’s been enormously enjoyable. Now seems like the right time to let the new generation take over.”

The trust was rated “good” by the Care Quality Commission in January 2018. It shares a chair with Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust, which currently has an interim chief executive and is rated “requires improvement”

There have been rumours of closer working between the acute provider – which has recently come under fire for the handling of its finances – and its mental health and community service counterpart for a few years.

Both are part of the outer north east London health system, with commissioners in the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering, and Redbridge.

NELFT ended 2017-18 with an £11m surplus but the wider system is in financial deficit.

The BHR commissioners and BHRUT are developing a financial recovery plan to return the system to balance by 2021.

In the current iteration, the trust and commissioners pledge: “This programme of work will be achieved whilst ensuring we protect the financial integrity and sustainability of NELFT.”