WORKFORCE: Northern Devon Healthcare Trust’s has promoted its medical director to chief executive post.

Alison Diamond, a local GP, last week replaced Jac Kelly who led the trust for more than four years.

The board of the £220m-turnover trust faced criticism at the end of last year for poor relationships with the rest of the health economy.

A review carried for its foundation trust application found staff were unclear about its priorities, performance issues and that the organisation was regarded as insular and isolated by its wider health community.

Trust chair Roger French said Dr Diamond had shown “immense leadership in furthering the clinical priorities of this organisation” during her time as medical director.

He added: “In the current policy climate, to have a clinician of Alison’s experience as the trust’s leader is a significant advantage.

“Alison knows the big set of challenges that we face and I think we have got the right person for the job.”

Dr Diamond was selected for the role following a final interview with a panel which included David Flory, chief executive of the NHS Trust Development Authority and chief executive of neighbouring Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust Jo Cubbon.

Plans are now in place to recruit a medical director. The human resources director and nursing director post will cover the post on an interim basis.