• Paula Clark, chief executive of University Hospitals of North Midlands is set to retire next spring 
  • Ms Clark will stay at the trust through winter and to allow time for a replacement to be found, the trust said
  • UHNM is currently facing a deficit of £44.8m for 2018-19

The chief executive of a major acute trust in the West Midlands will step down next year.

Paula Clark, chief executive for University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust, has announced her intention to retire next spring.  

In a statement published today, the trust said: “She will take the trust through the winter and this will then allow time for her replacement to be found.”

UHNM faces significant performance and financial pressures and in 2017 was placed in financial special measures by NHS Improvement. The provider is currently predicting a £44.8m deficit for 2018-19.

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

Ms Clark joined UHNM in October 2016. She was previously chief executive of the Dudley Group Foundation Trust and prior to this for Burton Hospitals FT.

She has featured on HSJ’s top chief executive list for the last three years.

In a message to staff, sent today, Ms Clark, said: “It has been a real pleasure to work in such a great organisation, one which is full of caring, committed and talented people. I am so proud that UHNM is now moving forward operationally and financially.”

David Wakefield, who became chair of the trust in March 2018, said: “During her time as CEO Paula has delivered a number of notable successes, including steering our Trust through two extremely difficult winters, overseeing a positive CQC inspection and putting in place the foundations for financial turnaround…

“Our job now is to ensure that we find the right person to succeed Paula, no easy task, and I’m delighted that she will be staying on to ensure that this process takes place as seamlessly as possible.”