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Trust group appoints interim CEO as chief takes leave

Published on: 5 Oct 2022

A hospital group has named its chief digital information officer as interim chief executive, after its substantive CEO went on leave at short notice for personal reasons.

Simon Weldon has taken leave from his role as group chief executive of University Hospitals of Northamptonshire Group, which covers both Northampton General Hospital Trust and Kettering General Hospital Foundation Trust. Group chief digital information officer Andy Callow is acting as interim.

It is understood Mr Weldon’s leave has been taken at short notice and he was working last week. It is unclear how long he will be away for and what his plans for returning are. 

Mr Weldon has led the group since July 2020, having previously been chief executive of Kettering Hospital from 2018. Before this, he was director of operations and delivery at NHS England 

The two hospitals within the group also share a chair – Alan Burns, a former strategic health authority chief executve — who took up the role at Kettering in 2017 then Northampton in 2018.

However, they have their own seperate “hospital CEOs”. Deborah Needham leads Kettering General Hospital, while Heidi Smoult leads Northampton General Hospital

An organisation spokesperson said: “Simon Weldon, group CEO, is currently taking a period of leave due to personal reasons.  Whilst Simon is on leave from the organisation Andy Callow, group chief digital information officer, will be acting as interim group CEO working with our hospital CEOs, Debbie Needham at KGH and Heidi Smoult at NGH.”

*Corrected 5 October 11.40am to state that Andy Callow is group chief digital information officer, not chief clinical information officer, as previously stated. Apologies for the error.