• Joe Chadwick-Bell to take over from Adrian Bull at East Sussex Healthcare Trust
  • Trust says “normal executive recruitment has not been possible” during pandemic
  • Chair says appointment will bring “continuity and stability” amid covid-19 crisis

A trust has appointed an interim chief executive after the coronavirus crisis meant it was unable to carry out a normal recruitment process for the permanent post.

Joe Chadwick-Bell, the current deputy chief executive and chief operating officer at East Sussex Healthcare Trust, will take over in September when Adrian Bull retires.

In a statement announcing her appointment, the trust said “normal executive recruitment has not been possible” during the covid-19 pandemic. It later confirmed to HSJ the interim appointment would be for a year. 

Chair Steve Phoenix said: “Joe will bring important continuity and stability to the role as our trust faces an unprecedented challenge from covid-19. Her detailed understanding of the organisation means that we will continue to build on the progress that we have all made together as a trust over the last few years.”

Ms Chadwick-Bell said: “It is an honour and a privilege to take on this role at a trust where I started my career. I am delighted that I will be able to lead an organisation with such ambition, strong values and an exciting future.

“This is a challenging time for the trust and I’ve been proud to see the way members of staff have come together to adapt and change in this new environment. I look forward to being part of our recovery as we move ahead with our aim of being outstanding and always improving.”

Ms Chadwick-Bell will continue in her current role until Dr Bull, who has led the trust for five years, retires. She has worked in both acute and ambulance trusts but started her career in the pharmacy department at Eastbourne District General Hospital, which is part of East Sussex Healthcare Trust.