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Two Kent hospital trusts now without permanent CEOs as Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells chief quits

PUBLISHED: 17:09 19 September 2017 | UPDATED: 13:24 20 September 2017

Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury

Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury

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Glenn Douglas is taking up the post of CEO at the Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership

Two of Kent’s four hospital trusts are now without a permanent leader after the CEO of Maidstone and Tunbridge NHS Trust quit his post to take up a new role.

Glenn Douglas was this week appointed chief executive of the Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership - a body set up last year to oversee development of a so-called masterplan for health and social care across the county.

The plan, which is set to go out to public consultation after Christmas, outlines proposals to allow people to be treated nearer their own homes to help reduce the strain on hospital services, which in some areas of the county have been described as at breaking point.

Mr Douglas had been working as the partnership’s senior responsibly officer, but only on a part-time basis in conjunction with his role at MTW.

His departure comes just days after Matthew Kershaw sensationally announced he was to leave East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust to take up a post at a think-tank, meaning only the trusts in Medway and Dartford and Gravesham have an established chief in place.

Mr Douglas said: “I am delighted to be taking on this role full-time. Our plans to work together across health and social care to improve services for people in Kent and Medway are starting to take shape.

“Doctors, nurses and other health professionals, alongside social care practitioners and health and local authority leaders in Kent and Medway, have a clear and exciting ambition.

“We want to improve health and wellbeing, reduce health inequalities between different areas in our region, improve the quality of services so people get better clinical outcomes and patient experience, and create a sustainable system within the available resources, most importantly staff and funds.

“My role is to ensure we develop detailed plans and deliver this ambition successfully, in partnership with our staff and local people.

“It is with some sadness that I leave my current role. My time at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust has been extremely rewarding.

“However, I know the trust will continue to go from strength to strength, as well as remaining a key partner in the wider Kent and Medway health and care plans for the future.”

Felicity Cox, NHS England director of commissioning operations for the south east, said: “Across the country, health and social care systems have started to work in more collaborative ways to improve care for local people.

“Bringing together partners from across the NHS, as well as local authorities, voluntary and community sectors, requires significant focus, commitment and dedicated leadership.

“Glenn’s appointment to this full-time role will strengthen what can be achieved for the people of Kent and Medway.”

MTW chairman David Highton said: “I would like to congratulate Glenn on his appointment, thank him for his many achievements at MTW, and wish him well for the future.

“Glenn joined the trust at its lowest ebb in 2007. Through his leadership and the continued hard work of our staff MTW has improved the quality and safety of the care it provides tens of thousands of patients every year.”

The chairman confirmed Jim Lusby, who previously worked as portfolio director at what is now known as NHS Improvement, with responsibility for oversight of NHS trusts in the south east, had been appointed acting CEO, and insisted patient wellbeing remained an absolute priority for the trust.

Mr Lusby said: “We are an ambitious organisation and have the potential to be among the best providers of hospital care.

“My aim over the coming months is to help MTW realise its potential by continuing to ensure we do everything we can to provide the highest possible standards of patient care.”

The trust says a recruitment process will be carried out to appoint a permanent CEO in due course.

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