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Ex-football club owner appointed to lead trust

Published on: 29 Jul 2022

A former investment banker and owner of a football club has been appointed chair of a trust in one of England’s most challenged integrated care systems.

James Brent will chair University Hospitals Plymouth Trust after incumbent Richard Crompton’s term expires at the end of July.

Mr Brent previously chaired the Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust and Northern Devon Healthcare Trust at a time when the trusts were working towards their now-completed merger.

He worked as an investment banker for 25 years and has advised the boards of large companies and governments in the UK and internationally.

Mr Brent also spent around six years as chair and owner of Plymouth Argyle Football Club, which he rescued from the brink of liquidation in 2012 and transformed the club’s fortunes on and off the pitch.

He joins UHP at a time when the Devon ICS is rated four – the lowest rating – on NHS England’s system oversight framework.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Brent said: “I acknowledge the ongoing pressures on our colleagues, not only within the trust but across the wider system. I am excited by the opportunity for us collectively to do the very best we can for our communities within the resources available to us.”

Trust CEO Ann James added: “[Mr Brent] will bring a unique combination of the experience of being a long-standing NHS chair within Devon with this professional background in investment, transformation and collaboration.

“This comes at the right time for UHP as we transform the way we use digital, build new hospital facilities and develop more integrated care for the future.”