An experienced NHS chair is joining a struggling trust that has twice failed to recruit permanently to the leadership role.
Yve Buckland, who is currently Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board chair, will join University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust temporarily while another recruitment round takes place.
The trust’s current interim chair, Harry Reilly, is stepping down at the end of this month due to international work commitments, although he will stay on as a non-executive director.
The provider has recently faced multiple performance problems – across emergency care, elective provision and cancer delays – while HSJ reported last month that partner organisations, as part of their oversight processes of UHB, had called the trust’s leadership style “insular”.
Last week, UHB’s chief executive David Rosser announced he was leaving the trust to be the strategic director for digital health and care across the West Midlands. Deputy CEO and chief operating officer Jonathan Brotherton will take over as interim CEO in January.
Prior to Mr Reilly taking on the interim chair position in October 2021, the trust had been chaired by Jacqui Smith since 2013. The provider has twice unsucessfully attempted to recruit substantively to the role in the past year.
UHB said the appointment of Dame Yve, who has chaired a series of NHS organisations and consumer bodies over her career, would help provide “stability”. Birmingham and Solihull ICB’s current vice chair, Patrick Vernon, will serve as interim there while Dame Yve is at UHB.
Dame Yve said: “I’m delighted to be taking on this role; UHB is one of the most influential trusts, both regionally and nationally. I am looking forward to working closely with colleagues to build on the excellent work already in place to respond to the challenges, and unprecedented demand, for health and care services.”
Mr Reilly said he had “thoroughly enjoyed” his time as interim chair and paid tribute to the hard work of staff “in what have been very challenging times of late”.