Two NHS mega-jobs have been filed this week, as we reported yesterday.
Barts Health Trust’s deputy chief executive Shane DeGaris has been named the first “group chief executive officer” of Barts Health Trust and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust in east London.
The decision to have a joint chief followed former home secretary Jacqui Smith becoming the chair of both trusts last summer. They have a combined turnover of around £2.3bn.
Mr DeGaris, who previously led Hillingdon Hospitals Foundation Trust in west London, will take over in August when the widely respected Dame Alwen Williams formally steps down as CEO of Barts Health.
Mark Cubbon, currently chief delivery officer at NHS England and Improvement, had been shortlisted for the role, as had Lesley Dwyer, who led Medway FT before returning to Australia to be chief executive of Central Adelaide Local Health Network, HSJ understands.
Mr DeGaris steps into what represents a huge and somewhat experimental role. While acute providers are consolidating into group models across the NHS, the size and scale of the challenge represented by the bringing together of the two London giants is considerable.
In south east London, for example, Guy’s and St Thomas and King’s FTs share a chair, as do the four acute trusts in north west London, but neither share a chief executive.
They both have combined turnovers of around £3bn and will no doubt be watching how the new group chief role over in north east London is working out very carefully.
Meanwhile, HSJ also revealed Clare Panniker has been appointed to the vacant NHS England East of England regional director role.
Ms Panniker was considered a contender for the Barts-Barking group role and understandably so. She oversaw the merger of three Essex acute trusts which created Mid and South Essex Foundation Trust in 2020, which she has run ever since, and also spent nine years running North Middlesex University Hospital in north London prior to her move to Essex.
Ms Panniker replaces Ann Radmore, who retired from the NHS in April after nearly 40 years in the service, including 17 as a chief executive, as reported by HSJ in October.
Sean O’Kelly, the East of England regional medical director, has been covering the role on an interim basis since Ms Radmore’s retirement last month.