A new chief executive has been appointed to run an acute trust in Greater Manchester, subject to approval by governors.

HSJ has learned that Silas Nicholls is set to take the chief executive job at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust following the retirement of long-standing chief Andrew Foster later this year.

Mr Nicholls has run Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust since April 2018, having previously worked as chief operating officer at University Hospital of South Manchester FT and deputy chief executive and director of strategy at WWLFT.

Although SOHT is rated as “requires improvement”, the trust has long-standing structural problems and Mr Nicholls is widely viewed as having stabilised the organisation since the sacking of its previous chief executive, Jonathan Parry.

The trust said the appointment followed a “rigorous two-day assessment process”.

Mr Nicholls said: “I am looking forward to building on WWL’s ethos of quality, staff engagement and strong performance against national standards.”

Mr Foster said: “It is a comfort to know I will be leaving the leadership of the trust in safe hands with Silas at the helm.

“I wish him every success and hope he enjoys being the CEO of WWL as much as I have.”