• Sir David Dalton to stand down from Salford Royal Foundation Trust and Pennine Acute Hospital Trust
  • He is unsure of future but wants to continue contributing to healthcare or public service
  • Has led Salford Royal to two successive “outstanding” ratings

Sir David Dalton has announced he will retire as chief executive of Salford Royal Foundation Trust and Pennine Acute Hospital Trust.

In a message to staff today, shared with HSJ, Sir David said he would stand aside in March 2019. He said his future is uncertain but he wants to “continue a contribution to healthcare and to public service in some way”.

He is one of the longest serving chief executives in the provider sector and was HSJ’s chief executive of the year for three successive years to 2016.

He has led Salford Royal for 18 years, and PAHT for three years. The two trusts are set to merge under a new “group” structure named the Northern Care Alliance.

He wrote: “I have been considering, with trusted colleagues, when the best time would be for me to leave the organisation and I am grateful for their advice.

“Although there is never a good time – I have concluded that with a secure future based on solid foundations and high external ratings, it is the right time for someone else to pick up the baton and lead the organisation for the next stage on its journey.

“At the moment I don’t know what shape my future will take, but I am certain that I want to continue a contribution to healthcare and to public service in some way.”

Sir David has worked in the NHS for 40 years and led Salford Royal to two successive “outstanding” ratings from the Care Quality Commission.

He added: “Our chairman, Mr Jim Potter, has confirmed that the board of directors will act quickly and decisively to appoint my successor and that the arrangements for this will be consistent with the group’s talent management programme and succession planning process.

“It is hoped that the outcome will be known early in the new year and that the new chief executive will be in post for 1 April 2019.

“I am part of a highly performing board, with a strong executive management team and effective director leadership teams across our four care organisations. My decision to retire will not change our vison and strategic plans, including the planned formal transaction of Pennine Acute….

“I am truly grateful for the support and contribution of staff at all grades and levels which have been crucial to our success. It was a joy to share last Friday evening with over 1,200 staff at our group staff awards evening. Celebrating the achievements of so many individuals and teams has always been one of the greatest pleasures of my role and I am sure it will be for my successor too.”