STRUCTURE: The organisation taking over NHS Worcestershire’s community services will not be established by 1 April due to delays in finding a permanent chief executive and chair.

The Appointments Commission advertised for the post of chair of the new organisation in the middle of December and held interviews in mid-January.

Chris Burdon - who has been a non executive director of NHS Worcestershire for just over two years - was appointed to this post and started in the role
on 1 February on a consultancy basis until the formal establishment of the new trust.

Sarah Dugan, who is currently the chief executive of NHS Dudley, was offered and accepted the chief executive post and started work - again on a consultancy
basis - on 7 March.

A revised plan is necessary to manage the longer transition period as the 1 April date for establishing trusts as part of Transforming Community Services will “no longer be practically achievable”, according to board papers.

One of Sarah Dugan’s tasks in the short term will be to work with Chris Burdon to design a senior level organisational structure. The strategic health authority has indicated it requires this to be presented for sign off and that it will be determining the “ring fence” arrangements that will govern who can apply for these posts.

Board papers state: “Draft job descriptions and structures have been prepared and are available to support this process and it is very much hoped that this will still be able to proceed quickly. This will be important for the project to retain momentum and there is recognition of the need to quickly get senior posts filled so that the transition process can be managed effectively.”

It has now been agreed to pursue the establishment of the new trust and the dissolution of Worcestershire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust on 1 July 2011.