WORKFORCE: Chief executive of Plymouth Hospitals Trust Paul Roberts has announced he is leaving to take up a new post in the Welsh NHS.

Mr Roberts moved to Plymouth in February 1997 as chief executive of Plymouth Community Services Trust and has been in his current post since 2000.

He has now been appointed to the post of chief executive of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, where he will lead 16,000 staff in a large, integrated NHS teaching organisation with responsibility for acute, mental health, community and primary care services for a population of around 600,000.

Mr Roberts said: “It is with mixed feelings that I make this announcement. I am delighted to have been appointed to my new role. But I am, of course, sorry to leave a place which I care so passionately about and in which I have so many great friends and colleagues.

“I believe that, thanks to the hard work and amazing dedication of our staff, the people of Plymouth and beyond now have very many excellent clinical outcomes, high patient satisfaction and the widest range of services available at almost any single hospital in the country.”

He added: “I would like to say ‘thank you’ from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has given me their support and help over the years. It is not always an easy job being a chief executive, but it is always an important one and I hope I have made a difference.”

Mr Roberts will leave Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust at the end of July 2011. The trust said matters were in hand to find a successor, and the precise arrangements will be announced as soon as they are finalised.