WORKFORCE: Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust has had discussions with the NHS Trust Development Authority about bringing in an improvement director to help turnaround performance, HSJ has learned.

An email sent to trust staff last Friday, seen by HSJ, announced the news, along with the imminent departure of four senior managers.

Royal Cornwall has been one of the worst performing trusts in the country against the four hour accident and emergency target in recent years.

In the first quarter of this year, only 78.8 per cent of patients attending its main emergency department were admitted or treated and discharged in four hours, against a target of 95 per cent.

Chief executive Bill Shields said in the email that Royal Cornwall was “working with the TDA to appoint an improvement director to help us progress with our overall performance”.

A TDA spokesman said it had “not yet made a formal decision” about the appointment of an improvement director at the trust.

Cornwall

Source: © Helen Dixon / Alamy

Four senior managers will leave the Cornwall trust

The email also announced the departure of four senior managers in October: Nick Macklin, director of human resources and organisational development; Richard Schofield, company secretary; Steve Vaughan, interim chief operating officer; and Bill Boa, interim director of financial recovery.

HSJ understands the departures are not related to the trust’s performance, and that the interim managers are leaving because their contracts are coming to an end.

Mr Vaughan will be replaced on a permanent basis by Paul Bostock, who joins Royal Cornwall next month from Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust.

Royal Cornwall is advertising for a new HR director and company secretary, and expects to make appointments next month.

The director of financial recovery was an interim post to help the trust deliver its cost improvement programme.

Mr Shields wrote: “We all recognise the need for a settled senior leadership team to take the trust through the next few years and this is what we are working hard to achieve.”

External improvement directors have mostly been appointed at trusts in special measures, but in recent months they have been deployed at providers which are not in the regime.