Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust – Transition update

Following Circle’s announcement of their decision to withdraw from the management franchise in January, the Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust has been working with Circle and the NHS TDA to facilitate a smooth transition back to NHS management.

Circle’s franchise arrangement to run Hinchingbrooke Hospital will come to an end on 31 March, after which a new NHS Board will take over responsibilities for the operational management of the Trust. The Trust’s governance systems, processes and structure will follow the typical NHS trust model.

Trust Chief Executive, Mr Hisham Abdel-Rahman said: “We wanted to achieve this transition quickly and without any disruption to staff or services for patients. The only changes will be to Trust management and we will be welcoming new NHS board members. There will be no change for staff and patients – the hospital will continue to provide the services that are available to patients at the moment, under NHS management.”

A new Chair will take over the running of the board and new non-executive directors will be joining the team.  This is the formal process to establish the new NHS Board and governance structure. Non-executive directors were specifically appointed for the franchise when this was set up and these posts will end with the franchise agreement on 31 March. After this date, the Chief Executive and the rest of the executive team will continue in their posts.

The NHS Trust Development Authority has confirmed the appointment of Alan Burns as the new NHS Chair for Hinchingbrooke, starting on 1 April. Alan is a retired NHS Chief Executive with great expertise in strategy, financial recovery and turnaround, change management and board development.  With over 30 years’ experience as a chief executive in the health sector, he is grounded in public service values and has supported two NHS Trusts to become Foundation Trusts.  He has also served as Vice Chair of the NHS Confederation, Chair of the National Commissioning Board for Research and Development in Service Delivery and Organisation, and Chair of the NHS Forward Thinking Group. Appointments for the new non-executive directors will also be confirmed shortly and there will be an opportunity to meet the new NHS Trust Board at the next public board meeting arranged for Wednesday 1 April 2015.

Alan Burns said: “This is a great opportunity and a challenge. I am delighted to be joining the Trust to lead and support Hinchingbrooke staff at all levels to deliver improvements which ensure our patients receive the best possible care.  I look forward to meeting all those connected with the hospital to understand the issues and their aspirations and plans for the future. I hope to meet members of our community at the first public board meeting for the new NHS Board on 1 April, where we will enact some legally necessary decisions, but also begin the process of setting strategic objectives and direction.”

Mr Hisham Abdel-Rahman said: “I would like to thank Mike Burrows and his non-executive team for their hard work and support over the course of the management franchise. As the franchise draws to its close, I am very pleased to welcome Alan to lead the new NHS Trust Board. We look forward to working with him and our new non-executive directors to progress our quality improvement plan and deliver high quality services to our patients in all areas.”

Following a CQC report published in January 2015, the NHS TDA placed the Trust into special measures in line with the recommendation of the Chief Inspector of Hospitals. The Trust has developed a quality improvement plan and staff are already putting this into action.

In order to continue to support the Trust in making the required improvements under special measures, and to ensure that these are embedded and sustained, the NHS TDA is appointing an Improvement Director for Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust, and will be announcing more details shortly.

Mark Cubbon, Portfolio Director at the NHS Trust Development Authority said: “I would like to thank the Trust, Circle and partners for working to deliver a smooth transition to NHS management, whilst ensuring business as usual continues for patients and staff. I am delighted that Alan will be joining the Trust to lead the board and lend his expertise and support as the Trust drives forward improvements to care quality. We will continue to work closely with the team, supporting them to build on progress made so far under special measures.”

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