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Replacement announced for CEO forced to quit through ill-health

Published on: 2 Apr 2024

Simon Constable is leaving Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust to join University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust as chief executive.

Simon Constable will replace Tracy Bullock who announced her retirement from UHNM earlier this year. Ms Bullock has been at UHNM for five years and has said a long-term condition meant she could no longer “manage the demands of being a chief executive”.

UHNM was rated “requires improvement” by the Care Quality Commission in 2021, but given an “outstanding” rating in the “care” category. Its overall CQC rating remains unchanged since the trust’s creation in 2014, but Ms Bullock led it out of financial special measures in 2020.

Dr Constable joined WHH in 2015 as medical director, before becoming deputy chief executive, and then chief executive in 2019. He also helped lead significant improvements at the trust which saw it move from a CQC rating of “requires improvement” to “good” in 2019.

According to the WHH website, Dr Constable is “a consultant physician and clinical pharmacologist by background…Prior to taking up the post at WHH, he worked with the NHS Leadership Academy, Harvard University and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement on clinical leadership, employee engagement and transformational change within the NHS”.

He also worked as vice president and medical director of ICON Development Solutions between 2008 and 2010.

WHH chair Steve McGuirk will lead the process to appoint a successor in due course. Mr McGuirk said Dr Constable would be “dearly missed by all of us at the trust”.

Speaking about his departure, Dr Constable said: “I have enjoyed working as part of the team at Warrington and Halton Hospitals enormously, and this has been an immensely difficult decision. I am proud of all that we have achieved together, both internally and with partners across the region.”

UHNM chair David Wakefield added: “I am delighted that Simon will be joining us… Simon’s substantial experience and proven track record in healthcare leadership will be invaluable as we work to address the evolving needs of our local population and deliver high-quality care to all those we serve.

“His supportive approach and drive for continuous improvement will ensure that we are able to continue our journey, and attract and retain exceptional people to work here at UHNM.”