• North West Anglia chief Stephen Graves to retire
  • Interviews for his replacement took place this week
  • Graves oversaw merger of two hospitals which created new NWA trust

North West Anglia Foundation Trust chief executive Stephen Graves is to retire with interviews for his replacement taking place this week.

Mr Graves oversaw the merger of Peterborough and Stamford Hospital FT and Hinchingbrooke Health Care Trust which created the new trust in April 2017.

He had previously been the Peterborough hospital chief executive, a post he had held since November 2014 before which he was in charge of West Suffolk FT. He was also previously a director at neighbouring Cambridge University Hospital FT.

Minutes from the May board meeting published last week in papers for the trust’s June 26 board meeting disclosed Mr Graves retirement. 

In a statement issued by the trust to HSJ Mr Graves said it had been an “enormous honour” to lead the trust.

But he said he felt that with the merger live and a new five year clinical strategy recently rubberstamped, the trust was ready to move onto the next phase its development and it was the right time to pass the baton on.

He said: “It has been, and will continue to be, an enormous honour and privilege to work with such a talented and committed group of people who provide outstanding care and support to our patients and their families every single day. work with such a talented and committed group of people who provide outstanding care and support to our patients and their families every single day.

“I look forward to continuing to work with our staff until I leave and I remain fully committed to our organisation, staff and patients until that time.”

Trust chair Rob Hughes said: “Stephen will be greatly missed and since his appointment in 2014 he has made a significant contribution to the Trust and to the local health economy.

“I am delighted that he will remain as our CEO until his successor arrives. The appointment process is in progress and we will announce the details as soon as that process is complete.”

The merger represented the bringing together of two operationally and financially challenged hospitals with Hinchingbrooke’s sustainability having long been questioned due to its size and catchment area.

Peterborough, meanwhile, has a significant debt relating to the private finance initiative scheme for the construction and running of its main Peterborough hospital site.

The protracted merger followed various attempts to shore up the hospitals by other means, including the disastrous franchise deal for Hinchingbrooke which collapsed in January 2015.

UPDATED: This story was update on 4 July at 14:48 to include the trust’s statement