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Two trusts to appoint single chief executive

Published on: 2 Feb 2023

Two trusts are set to appoint a single chief executive and executive team as they move towards a joined-up leadership model. 

Isle of Wight Trust and Portsmouth Hospitals University Trust have been collaborating under an acute services partnership since 2020, after it was recognised the island trust could not provide all services sustainably. 

A spokesperson for the two trusts said the move to a single chief executive was “the logical next step”, following almost three years of working in partnership.

While it has been stressed the two organisations will remain “separate, statutory organisations”, HSJ understands an eventual merger has not been ruled out entirely.

No timetable has been provided for the joint chief executive appointment. Isle of Wight Trust is currently led by Darren Cattell, while Portsmouth Hospitals University Trust’s chief executive is Penny Emerit

The spokesperson said: “These new arrangements are the logical next step so that we can tackle the long-standing challenges of delivering healthcare for the Isle of Wight and ensure high-quality, safe, sustainable, and compassionate care for all the populations we serve.

“We will remain separate, statutory organisations and these changes set the direction for bringing our teams closer together. Ultimately, it is the needs of our populations that will shape how things move forward and we will engage fully with our patients, partners and the public throughout.”

Melloney Poole, Isle of Wight Trust and Portsmouth Hospitals University Trust chair, said:  “Working together and in collaboration with our partners is the only viable way to ensure safe, sustainable, and compassionate services for the Isle of Wight…

“Creating a single leadership team and establishing shared clinical leadership will allow us to better plan and deliver services for a combined population of 800,000 people across Portsmouth, southeast Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight.”

Maggie MacIsaac, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board chief executive, added: “In recent years health services on the Isle of Wight have seen positive change, bringing benefits to those who use them. Many of these improvements have been achieved through working in close partnership between the island and mainland organisations.”

In a statement, Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely added the move to a single chief executive for both trusts “paves the way for more reforms later this year”.

Isle of Wight Trust, which was in special measures for four years until 2021, is currently the country’s only integrated provider of acute, community, mental health and ambulance services.

However, by April 2024, it is expected to have transferred its community and mental health services to a new joint trust, following the recommendations of a 2022 review commissioned by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight ICB.

The new organisation will bring the community and mental health services in the system together under one provider. At the moment, these services are provided to the system by Solent Trust, Southern Health FT, Isle of Wight Trust and Sussex Partnership FT.