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NHSE director appointed CEO of country’s largest trust

Published on: 14 Nov 2022

A national director has been appointed to lead the largest NHS provider in England, HSJ has learned.

Mark Cubbon, who is NHS England chief delivery officer, has been chosen as Manchester University Foundation Trust’s new chief executive. He is due to start the job in spring next year.

Mr Cubbon has previously worked in senior roles at various providers in London, and was CEO at Portsmouth Hospitals University Trust before joining NHSE.

He started his NHS career as a nurse, having trained at the University of Manchester.

It comes after Sir Mike Deegan announced his retirement from MUFT in August. He has led the trust in its various forms for more than 20 years.

MUFT is the largest trust in England, with an income of £2.5bn last year and around 28,000 staff.

Mr Cubbon will be replaced at NHSE by Steve Russell, who will take on the chief delivery officer role alongside his position as national director for vaccinations and screening.

Kathy Cowell, chair of MUFT, told staff in an email today: “I am delighted to let you know that following a rigorous national and international recruitment process, which involved some exceptional candidates, we have appointed Mark Cubbon, chief delivery officer at NHS England, as our group chief executive.

“Mark began his NHS career here in Greater Manchester, working as a nurse in Trafford General Hospital, Manchester Royal Infirmary and Withington Hospital.”

NHSE CEO Amanda Pritchard told staff: “Mark will be hugely missed. He is a fantastic colleague, and I’m very grateful for his leadership, support and the enormous contribution he has made in his time at NHS England across a range of roles.

“This has included playing a leading role in developing proposals for and establishing the new integrated care systems – a major milestone in enabling joined up working for the benefit of patients and communities.”

Mr Cubbon said: “The partnership approach in Greater Manchester over the last 20 years has driven the successful development of general and specialist services for patients, as well as securing the largest ever investment in the region’s research services.

“It is a huge privilege to be appointed as group chief executive, working alongside some of the greatest talent in the NHS.”

NHSE also today announced to staff the departure of Simon Bolton, who is NHS Digital interim chief executive and NHSE’s chief information officer. He will leave at the end of 2022.

Article updated to include Kathy Cowell’s message to staff.