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CEO of ‘outstanding’ trust makes switch to maternity scandal provider

Published on: 17 Dec 2021

The chief executive of an ‘outstanding’ London trust is to move to one of the most troubled trusts in the country.

Tracey Fletcher, who has run the Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust since 2013, will take over as chief executive of East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust in the spring.

EKHUFT has been at the centre of a maternity scandal involving multiple baby deaths and was prosecuted earlier this year by the Care Quality Commission, in relation to the death of one baby and the care of his mother.

An independent investigation into its maternity services will report next year, possibly as early as the summer. Its chief executive since 2017, Susan Acott, recently announced she would step down in 2022.

Ms Fletcher lives near Deal, on the Kent coast, and worked at EKHUFT as chief operating officer between 2008 and 2010.

She said: “It is a real privilege to be appointed to my local trust and as a local resident I am very aware of the trust’s vital role in its community, as a provider of care and as an employer.”

The trust’s chair Niall Dickson said: “We are fortunate to have attracted such an experienced NHS leader with a great track record and a total commitment to continue our drive to improve the care we provide to the people of East Kent.

“We are aware that there is more we need to do to provide consistently high standards of care for all our patients, but we believe that this organisation has huge potential. Under Tracey’s leadership we will do everything we can to support our staff to provide the best possible care and to work closely with all our partners in East Kent.”

As well as dealing with the outcome of the maternity investigation, Ms Fletcher will have to guide the trust though a controversial reconfiguration of its emergency and specialist services. The £460m scheme still has to secure funding before it can go out to public consultation.