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New CEO for £1.4bn acute trust

Published on: 22 Mar 2023

The largest trust in the East of England has recruited a new chief executive with a record of leading struggling acute providers. 

Matthew Hopkins was announced today as the new chief executive of Mid and South Essex Foundation Trust. 

He will be moving to the £1.4bn turnover trust – the largest in its region, the East of England, and 10th largest in England – from his current role of chief executive at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust.

Mr Hopkins joined the Worcestershire trust in January 2019 and later that year its “inadequate” rating was removed by the Care Quality Commission. It has since been moved from NHS England’s lowest provider oversight category 4 – formerly known as special measures – to 3. However, it has continued to grapple with major performance problems including some of the worst ambulance handover delays.

Before Worcestershire, Mr Hopkins led Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust, another very troubled provider, and Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust.

Mid and South Essex FT, which is also in NHSE oversight segment 3, has been run by acting chief executive Hannah Coffey since last summer. 

It was previously led by Clare Panniker, who left to become NHSE regional director for the East of England, and had overseen its creation from a merger of three acute trusts in 2020.

Mid and South Essex FT chair Nigel Beverley said Mr Hopkins had been appointed after an “extremely competitive recruitment process” and he was “delighted that the trust is attracting so much talent”. 

“Matthew is an experienced CEO who I know will use his significant knowledge and leadership skills to guide the organisation forward as we continue to improve the care we are providing to our population,” he said. 

Worcestershire Acute chair Anita Day said: “I would like to thank Matthew for his compassionate and patient-focussed leadership over the past four years… On a personal note I would also like to thank him for his support both before and after I took over as trust chair and for his brave and decisive leadership through the many challenges we have faced together, not least the global pandemic.”