Two coastal trusts embarking on a new leadership model have appointed a joint chief executive.
Matthew Bryant is joining Dorset County Hospital Foundation Trust and Dorset Healthcare University FT from his current role as chief operating officer across Yeovil District Hospital FT and Somerset FT.
The appointment follows the well-performing trusts on the south coast announcing a joint leadership model with separate boards in September.
The pair are also recruiting a shared chair. The trusts hope to complete this process by March, when the tenures for Mark Addison and Andy Willis – chairs of acute Dorset County Hospital and mental health provider Dorset Healthcare University respectively – are due to end.
Mr Bryant will start his new role in the spring, taking over from interim Dorset County Hospital CEO Nick Johnson and acting Dorset Healthcare University CEO Dawn Dawson.
Mr Bryant has been COO at Somerset FT and Yeovil District Hospital FT since January 2022, having previously held the same role at both trusts since 2021. The two providers are working together ahead of a proposed merger.
Before this, Mr Bryant held roles at Taunton and Somerset FT and Somerset Partnership FT – the providers which merged to become Somerset FT in 2020.
He has also held roles at Royal Devon and Exeter FT, where he led surgical and medical services as well as redesigning care for frail older people.
He said: “I’m really excited to have this opportunity as chief executive to lead both Dorset Healthcare and Dorset County Hospital as we work together to improve the health of the population of Dorset.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know colleagues, patients, service users and partners as we continue to bring our mental and physical health services together and remove barriers between community and hospital care.”
Mr Willis said Mr Bryant brings with him a “wealth of experience in senior, community and mental health services in Somerset”.
Mr Addison added: “We are embarking on a new and exciting phase in the development of our trusts and Matthew’s experience will help us to navigate the opportunities and challenges ahead.”