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Challenged trust fails to complete ‘hospital CEOs’ recruitment

Published on: 28 Jul 2023

A struggling teaching trust has appointed three new executives but failed to recruit two hospital-level CEOs as planned, HSJ has learned.

University Hospitals Birmingham has announced a new chief strategy and digital officer, alongside two hospital CEOs for Solihull Hospital and Birmingham Heartlands Hospital.

However, it failed to recruit chief executives for its two main hospitals, Queen Elizabeth in Birmingham and Good Hope in Sutton Coldfield.

Mo Hussain, currently chief quality officer at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Trust, will take on the new executive role of chief strategy and digital officer in December.

It is part of a shake-up of roles at the top of UHB following high-profile reviews – one of which found its leadership style became “overzealous and coercive”.

HSJ previously revealed the trust was cutting a fifth of its board roles as it moves to a group model with a joint board and four individual hospital CEOs leading site-level executive teams.

Rifat Rashid, deputy chief medical officer at UHB, has been appointed CEO for Heartlands Hospital, while upper GI surgeon Martin Richardson - UHB’s medical director (operations) and the integrated care system’s lead on diagnostics and cancer - will take the same position at Solihull Hospital.

However, individual executives could not be found for the trust’s two main sites.

Recently-appointed trust CEO Jonathan Brotherton, recently announced as UHB’s group chief executive, wrote in an internal email: “Unfortunately, we were not able to appoint to the [hospital executive director] role for Queen Elizabeth and Good Hope Hospitals and intend to go straight out to advert with a targeted campaign to recruit to those sites.

“I know you will join me in congratulating Mo, Rif and Martin on their appointment and will support them and their teams in the coming months and years.”

At a board meeting on Thursday Dame Yve Buckland, who was made substantive chair in June, also confirmed two new non-executive directors would be joining the trust.

Former Manchester University Foundation Trust acting CEO Gill Heaton will join as an associate NED in August, while Birmingham Community Trust non-executive Jacynth Ivey will join as a NED.

Long-standing NED Catriona McMahon, also chair of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust, will shortly leave UHB when her term comes to an end.