• Maria Kane to lead North Middlesex University Hospital Trust
  • Trust is expected to join hospital chain led by Royal Free London FT

A mental health trust chief executive will lead a neighbouring acute trust as part of a hospital chain, HSJ understands.

Maria Kane, who has led Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust since 2008, is the favoured candidate to take over at North Middlesex University Hospital Trust.

Maria Kane

Maria Kane has led Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust since 2008

The trust has not had a substantive chief executive since July 2016 when Julie Lowe left. Chief executive of Royal Free London Foundation Trust Sir David Sloman took over as accountable officer for the organisation in September.

Acting chief executive Libby McManus, a former director at the Royal Free, stepped down under pressure from ministers and NHS Improvement in September over poor accident and emergency performance.

Ms Kane’s appointment is understood to signal another step towards the full integration of North Middlesex into the Royal Free hospital chain, which is led by Sir David. In September, the trust became a formal “clinical partner” of the chain, which includes Royal Free, Barnet and Chase Farm hospitals.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust is thought to be another organisation that will formally join the chain after “buddying” arrangements with the north London trust.

It is understood BEHMHT will soon have permission from NHSI to proceed with a significant land sale that will enable it to modernise some of the units at St Ann’s Hospital.