The chair of Bassetlaw primary care trust has announced he is to join its local mental health service provider – one of the largest in the country.

Dean Fathers will join Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust on 1 January for an initial three year period till December 2014. He will receive a salary of £23,366 per year.

Mr Fathers replaces professor Clair Chilvers who is leaving at the end of the month to become chair of Gloucestershire Hospitals Foundation Trust. She had been chair of the mental health trust since January 2007.

Trust chief executive professor Mike Cooke said: “I am delighted that Dean is joining us – as chair of a local NHS organisation we have, of course, come across each other during day to day business.

“Dean has always shown an interest in mental health and learning disability issues and I look forward to working more closely with him to continue the great successes enjoyed by this Trust to the benefit of our staff, service users and carers.”

Mr Fathers, who is also chair of the Cass Business School’s centre for better managed health and social care, said: “It’s brilliant to be joining Nottinghamshire Healthcare at such an exciting stage in its development.

He said: “The trust has recently gained foundation trust standard and is proving successful at delivering new contracts and business across its service areas.

“I look forward to continuing with the great work delivered by professor Chilvers and working closely with Mike Cooke to consolidate and improve upon the success achieved so far.”

The trust employs 6,000 staff at over 100 sites – including the Rampton Hospital high secure unit – and has a budget this year of £297m.

It gained foundation trust “standard” in November, though it is unable to become an actual foundation trust at present because current legislation does not permit providers of high secure services to do so.

As a result it continues to be monitored by its strategic health authority rather than Monitor.