• University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay has appointed a new chief executive
  • Aaron Cummins will take up the role from 1 April, replacing outgoing chief executive Dame Jackie Daniel
  • Dame Jackie announced in January she was resigning to “pursue a number of other interests”

A hospital trust has appointed a new leader to replace the outgoing Dame Jackie Daniel who announced her departure in January.

Dame Jackie was honoured at the end of last year for services to healthcare, but said she will be leaving University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust at the end of March.

The foundation trust confirmed yesterday it had appointed Aaron Cummins, its current deputy chief executive and finance director, to the top job.

The appointment was approved by the council of governors on Thursday, 1 March, and he will take up the role on 1 April.

Mr Cummins, who has been in his current role since 2014, said he was delighted to be appointed to the top job.

He added: “It’s been a real privilege to work alongside Dame Jackie over the last four years, and I’m incredibly proud to be able to lead the trust as we continue that journey of improvement.

“I know I inherit a truly outstanding leadership team as well as strong relationships with our partners and some of the most dedicated and talented staff in the NHS.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to work alongside them to deliver the best possible services for people across Morecambe Bay.”

Dame Jackie said she was leaving to “pursue a number of other interests”.

She became chief executive of the trust in 2012, and in 2015 led it out of special measures. The trust was rated good in February 2017 as it continued to recover from a high-profile maternity care scandal.

The trust still has financial difficulties and is in the process of forming an “accountable care organisation” which it has been developing as part of the national new care models vanguard programme.

Ian Johnson, incoming chair, said: “This trust has had the benefit of one of the best NHS leaders in Dame Jackie for the last five and a half years, resulting in the organisation being recognised by the Care Quality Commission as ‘outstanding’ for care with an overall rating of ‘good’. Our ambition is to now become ‘outstanding’ overall.”