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Acute trust hires 'outstanding' mental health CEO

Published on: 28 Jan 2022

The leader of one of England’s top community and mental health trusts has been appointed chief executive of a major acute provider.

Eugine Yafele will replace Robert Woolley as CEO of University Hospitals of Bristol and Weston Foundation Trust following Mr Woolley’s retirement at the end of March.

Mr Yafele, who started his NHS career as a nurse, will join UHBW after three years in charge of Dorset Healthcare University FT, which is rated “outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission.

The trust has also been ranked among the top four trusts in the NHS Staff Survey for three consecutive years, with the best scores nationally for staff engagement and empowerment.

UHBW was created in April 2020 through a merger of the “outstanding” rated University Hospitals Bristol FT and Weston Area Health Trust. Eighteen months later UHBW’s rating was downgraded to “good”, after the pandemic interrupted plans to improve services at Weston General Hospital.

UHBW’s annual income is around £950m, around three times higher than Dorset Healthcare University FT’s annual income (£316m).

Jayne Mee, chair of UHBW, said Mr Yafele has “proved himself as an excellent CEO”.

She added: “It’s clear he has a real passion and skill for nurturing talent at all levels of the organisation and brings extensive experience knowledge and skills to lead UHBW.”

As well as leading UHBW, Mr Yafele is chair of NHS England’s South West Regional People Board and senior responsible officer for NHSE’s Out of Hospital Transformation programme.

Mr Yafele said: “It’s clear to see the trust has such strong and committed people and I’m excited to support and empower them in further developing an inclusive environment that values diversity and in which everyone thrives.

“There are, of course, challenges ahead in terms of workforce pressures and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, I have no doubt that working with all of UHBW’s fantastic people and its partners we will rise to these challenges.”

Mr Woolley has led UHBW for 12 years.