The deputy chief executive of the Royal Surrey County Hospital Foundation Trust is stepping up to the top job.

Louise Stead, who is also director of nursing and patient experience, will take over as chief executive on 1 September. The current chief executive Paula Head – who has run the trust since September 2016 – is leaving later this month to run Southampton University Hospitals Trust.

Ms Stead has been a board member since 2011, chair Sue Sjuve said she was delighted at the appointment saying: ”This was a very rigorous process and involved over 100 of our staff, stakeholders and partners as well as the appointment panel. Louise impressed everyone with her leadership qualities and her passion and commitment to the trust and she presented a cohesive and compelling strategic way forward for the organisation. She is a respected clinician and has been instrumental in driving up standards across the organisation,” she said.

Ms Stead said: “I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to lead the trust. It has already been a big part of my professional career and I have loved every minute of it. We have a reputation for providing excellent patient care and patient experience; this is down to our fantastic staff and I look forward to working with them in my new role. I know they are committed, as I am, to ensure that we continue to deliver our mission of compassionate, safe care every day.”