• Adrian Bull has led the trust out of financial and quality special measures
  • Chair praises the progress made under his leadership

The chief executive of a coastal hospital trust is to retire in September, four years after taking up the role.

Adrian Bull, chief executive of East Sussex Healthcare Trust, said he was “proud” to have led the trust and play a part in the “significant progress and improvement” that had been seen. Dr Bull is in his 60s and wants to spend more time with his family, including four recent grandchildren.

He joined the trust in April 2016, having previously worked as managing director of Imperial College Health Partners and led Queen Victoria Hospital Foundation Trust.

When he joined, the trust had severe problems. It had been rated “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission in September 2015. Its rating was improved to “requires improvement” in January 2017 (which it remains), but it was kept in quality “special measures” until June 2018. 

It was placed in financial special measures in October 2016, only leaving in July last year. The trust is still expecting a £34m deficit before transformation funding this year but this is in line with its financial plan.

The trust was also told it should consider “refreshing” its board in a governance review carried out by Deloitte consultants in 2018 — although Dr Bull was praised in the report.

It said it had begun recruitment for a successor.

Steve Phoenix, chairman of the trust board, said: “Adrian has been a superb CEO and I want to pay tribute to all he has achieved.

“Under his leadership, ESHT has made significant progress across key areas and developed a strengthened reputation. Improvements have been made to the quality and safety of care we provide, the accessibility of our services and the feedback that we receive from patients and members of staff. This has been done whilst steadily decreasing our financial deficit.

“Adrian has also overseen some significant investment and development at the trust. In the last year alone we have seen the opening of a multimillion pound MRI unit, a new urology investigation suite and new ambulatory care units.”


Updated 15.20 17 February to reflect expected deficit figure is before transformation funding.