WORKFORCE: Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust has appointed its chief executive on a substantive basis after more than two years as an interim.

The trust announced on 19 February that Michael Wilson had been appointed as permanent chief executive in order to enable it to “proceed along the path to foundation trust status”. It follows a short recruitment exercise that began on 31 January.   

Trust chair Alan McCarthy said: “Michael has lead the organisation superbly during the last two and a half years and, together with colleagues within the hospital, has transformed the service we provide.

“The board is unanimous in its support of Michael and his track record clearly demonstrates he is the right person to lead the trust at this exciting time.”

The trust appears to be turning the corner after being named last June as one of 21 trusts with serious financial troubles that could lead to it being put into special measures.

Its tripartite formal agreement, signed in September 2011, warned it had a “history of weak financial results” and was “not clinically or financially viable in its current form”.

However, the situation subsequently improved, with £14m invested in improving facilities, including expanding its under-pressure accident and emergency department.

It announced at the end of March 2012 that the trust’s TFA board had agreed a two year plan for SASH to “pursue becoming a foundation trust”, which would require the trust to make savings of £10m this financial year. In December it was still forecasting that it would deliver on this target.