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‘Low morale’ trust appoints new CEO

Published on: 28 Jun 2023

An acute trust in the South West has appointed a new CEO who joins from a neighbouring provider.

Kevin McNamara, currently chief executive at Great Western Hospitals, will take over Gloucestershire Hospitals in March 2024, it was announced today.

Current Gloucestershire CEO Deborah Lee said earlier this year she would be stepping down after seven years at the trust.

Ms Lee made headlines in 2022 when she revealed that her husband drove her to accident and emergency when she had a stroke, amid fears an ambulance would take too long.

Gloucestershire Hospitals has faced particular challenges with ambulance handover delays and delayed discharges, as well as low staff morale. The percentage of staff recommending the organisation as a place to work last year was just 43 per cent, the second lowest figure in England.

Mr McNamara has worked for the NHS since 2003. He joined Great Western in 2009, became director of strategy and community services in 2013 and took the top job in 2019.

The incoming CEO said: “I know that the hard work has already started to improve the experience of both colleagues and patients, with an ambitious programme of cultural and operational improvement, and I look forward to being part of this change.”

Gloucestershire Hospitals chair Deborah Evans said: “Kevin is an immensely experienced leader and I am thrilled that he will be joining our trust. He brings a wealth of experience and is focused on listening to colleagues and understanding what matters to them, in making our hospitals a great place to work and receive care.”

Ms Lee said: “My time as chief executive has been challenging at times, but equally the most rewarding of my 40-year career. The work we have started with colleagues means I am able to use the final few months to ensure there is a positive legacy for Kevin to take forward.”

Details are still being finalised but there will be a planned transition before Ms Lee leaves in March 2024, the trust said.