One of the NHS’s most experienced and well regarded chief executives will retire later this year, HSJ can reveal.

Peter Homa, chief executive of Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, one of the largest acute providers in the country, will retire this summer after a decade in charge at the trust.

Mr Homa was appointed chief executive at Nottingham in 2006 but has 37 years service in the NHS. His first job in the service was in 1979 when he started work as a hospital porter.

The trust’s medical director and deputy chief executive Stephen Fowlie will also be retiring in May after 20 years service as a consultant at the trust’s City Hospital. 

Mr Homa was honoured with a CBE in 2000 and played a key role in the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust public inquiry as an expert reviewer helping Sir Robert Francis QC to craft his recommendations. He was also a member of the Freedom to Speak Up Review on whistleblowing and NHS culture.

In 1999 he was the chief executive of the Commission for Health Improvement and was appointed as the first CEO of the Healthcare Commission before stepping down in 2003.

He oversaw the merger of Nottingham’s two acute hospitals and has developed the trust as a major regional provider with specialist services serving more than 3 million people. The trust has earned a reputation as a leader in innovation and patient safety and is widely respected for its work to develop staff engagement, culture and governance.

Mr Homa said: “It has been a privilege and pleasure to serve NUH as chief executive for 10 years and the NHS for 27 years as a chief executive. I will always treasure the long-lasting friendships and relationships developed with patients, relatives, staff and partners, as well as the accomplishments and challenges experienced during my career. My passion for work has so often resulted in time being deflected away from my family. Retirement enables me to address this.”

Louise Scull, NUH chair, said: “Nottingham is incredibly fortunate to have in Peter one of the finest leaders in the NHS. He is inspirational, visionary and relentless in his commitment to our values. Peter excels at working in NUH and across health and social care to do the best for patients and their families.

”Under Peter’s and Stephen’s exceptional leadership, NUH has become a continuously improving and high performing organisation over the last decade.”

One senior member of staff at the trust told HSJ: “This is a disaster for NUH. Peter Homa has been a fantastic CEO who has been great for the trust, brought innovation and made NUH the great teaching hospital it is today. He will be hugely, massively missed.”

Mr Homa’s departure comes at a time when the trust faces a number of challenges, however.

Nottingham commissioners have announced plans to decommission more than a dozen services at the trust as well as redesign 17 others in the next six months. The region’s STP plan also outlines proposals to remove more than 200 acute beds from the trust to shift activity to the community.

Last year the trust was involved in a failed merger bid between NUH and nearby Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust, which cost £10m. The trust has also been struggling with A&E performance and capacity pressures, declaring a black alert yesterday and for two days last week.