One of the NHS’s most pressurised regions has announced a shake up of its provider leadership, creating a new acute trust group in the process.
Jonathan Lofthouse will become the first joint CEO of Hull University Teaching Hospitals Trust and Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Foundation Trust.
Current Hull CEO Chris Long is set to retire, while NLAG chief Peter Reading will become interim CEO of Yorkshire Ambulance Service following Rod Barnes’ decision to stand down.
Mr Lofthouse joins from King’s College Hospital FT, where he works as site chief executive for the Princess Royal University Hospital and south sites.
Mr Long had led Hull for eight years, while Mr Reading has helmed NLAG since 2017. It was also announced this week that NLAG is coming out of special measures after spending six years subject to the highest level of central oversight.
Leaders have stressed that the move to combine the two trusts’ executive teams is not a precursor to a full-scale merger. The two trusts already work together in some areas and a major review that is likely to recommend further sharing of services is set to report in the coming months.
Mr Barnes’ departure from YAS comes shortly after new chair Martin Havenhand started at the trust on 1 April.
The first round of recruitment for the joint acute trust CEO role had to be re-run after candidates withdrew from the process.
Hull and NLAG joint chair Sean Lyons said: “Jonathan’s experience and background make him well suited to helping HUTH and NLaG tackle some of our most challenging joint issues around flow, elective backlog, patient environments, and the recruitment and retention of staff.”
Mr Lofthouse said: “I am both thrilled and humbled to be joining both trusts as joint chief executive and would like to pay tribute to both Chris Long and Peter Reading for their leadership and dedication. As part of my recruitment process I have already enjoyed visits to all five of the group’s core sites and met many dedicated staff. I greatly look forward to working with them all as we move forward with our harmonisation of the group.”
Mr Barnes, who has led YAS for eight years, told staff today: “As our five-year strategy comes to an end, it is now the right time for me to hand over the reins to a new CEO.” He did not specify if he was moving to a new job.
Mr Havenhand said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Rod for his excellent service, dedication and compassion for staff, volunteers and patients. Rod has led the organisation through its most challenging period in its history and we would like to wish him every success as he embarks on the next stage in his career.”