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Two MDs from same hospital group get CEO jobs

Published on: 18 Jan 2023

Two hospital managing directors within a foundation trust group have been given chief executive jobs in the space of a month.

Anne Coyle, managing director for South Warwickshire hospital – part of the group led by South Warwickshire University Foundation Trust – will take over at Mercy University Hospital in Cork, Ireland, at the end of March.

The “foundation group” includes three acute trusts: South Warwickshire, George Eliot, and Wye Valley.

David Eltringham, GEH managing director, was recently appointed chief executive of South Central Ambulance Service FT and starts at the end of February.

Mr Eltringham joined GEH as managing director in 2018. Previously, he worked as senior winter adviser for NHS Improvement, and as chief operating officer for Birmingham Children’s Hospital FT and, before that, at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Trust.

Ms Coyle joined SWFT in 2013 and in 2017 became managing director for the South Warwickshire “out of hospital care collaborative”. Then in May 2020 she became MD for the trust, including its acute services.

Catherine Free, who is GEH chief medical officer, will act as GEH interim managing director for six months, with the post to be formally advertised later this year; while the SWFT MD post is currently being recruited.

Glen Burley – who is chief executive of the foundation group of trusts – said it demonstrated that hospital MD roles within group trusts were “great feeder jobs for that progression” to becoming a CEO.

“With a little bit of support from me, managing directors run their trusts on a daily basis,” he said. “It is a very senior leadership role, but part of a group, so there is some air cover and support.

“There are some wider opportunities to get involved in the group, as well as build great relationships with local authorities and primary care as a ‘place’ leader.”

The group, led by South Warwickshire FT was one of the first to be set up and, said Mr Burley, it has a “more mature structure than many other group models”.

Ms Coyle said: “It has been my privilege to have been a part of SWFT’s journey for almost a decade, working alongside dedicated and motivated colleagues.” Mr Eltringham said: “I could not take the next step in my career without the experience, knowledge and skills I have gained at George Eliot Hospital.”