A major acute trust in the Midlands has appointed a new chief executive.

Tracy Bullock, currently chief executive of Mid Cheshire Hospitals Foundation Trust, is set to take over at University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust early next year.

It comes after Paula Clark announced her retirement from UHNM. She is due to step down in February, and it is hoped Ms Bullock will start soon after.

The Midlands trust faces significant performance and financial pressures. It is currently in financial special measures and has forecast a deficit of £45m for 2018-19.

In February 2018, it was rated “requires improvement” overall by the Care Quality Commission, although it received improved ratings in the well led, caring and effective domains.

Ms Bullock started her career as a nurse in 1987 at Bolton Hospital, before moving into management roles in clinical risk and governance. In 2002, she joined the Modernisation Agency in the performance support team.

She joined Mid Cheshire Hospitals FT as director of nursing and quality in 2006, and later became chief operating officer and deputy chief executive. She was appointed as chief executive in 2010.

In a message to staff today, Ms Bullock wrote: “Mid Cheshire Hospitals is strong and stable and has an incredible and exciting future ahead and I know it will be a key player of the health and care system for Cheshire East for years to come.  

“On a personal note, the time is right for me to take on a new challenge, although I will be leaving with a heavy heart as the organisation will always mean a great deal to me… Our chairman, Mr Dennis Dunn, will commence a process to secure your next chief executive in due course and we will inform you as soon as possible of my leaving date and details of how my successor will be progressed.”

David Wakefield, chairman of UHNM, said: “The board are delighted to welcome Tracy to UHNM and look forward to working alongside her. Her passion for patient care and clinical and staff engagement shone through at interview.”

Mid Cheshire and UHNM already maintain a formal a partnership which covers several clinical pathways.