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Major trust appoints hospital CEO

Published on: 4 Jul 2022

A major trust has appointed a permanent chief executive to one of its largest hospitals.

Ralph Coulbeck has been hired to the role at Whipps Cross Hospital on a substantive basis after having served for a period as its interim chief executive since November 2021.

He took over from its outgoing medical director Heather Noble at the time, who became the hospital’s acting CEO after Alan Gurney stepped down last October.

Barts Health Trust, which oversees Whipps Cross Hospital, said Mr Coulbeck accepted the appointment following a “competitive interview process that was open to both internal and external applicants”.

Dame Alwen Williams, Barts’ group CEO, said on Twitter: “Very many congratulations [Mr Coulbeck] on your appointment as CEO of Whipps Cross Hospital.

“An inspirational leader, deeply committed to improving healthcare.”

Mr Coulbeck began his career on the NHS’s graduate management training scheme, previously serving as a director of strategy at the NHS Trust Development Authority before becoming Barts’ group director of strategy for five and a half years.

He said: “The past six months have been the most rewarding of my career because of the brilliant teams and people at Whipps Cross.

“Thank you for your amazing dedication and support and I’m really looking forward to continuing our work to make Whipps Cross a better hospital for our staff and our patients.”

The trust confirmed it is recruiting a substantive chief executive for its Newham Hospital and the successful candidate will be announced this month.

It announced the chief executive of another of its major hospitals last week. Neil Ashman was appointed to run the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, having previously led on clinical transformation across the £1.7bn trust.