A new interim chair of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has been announced – and he’s taking on the role on top of his position as chair of Guy’s and St Thomas’.
NHS Improvement described Sir Hugh as ‘one of the most experienced and distinguished chairs in the NHS’.
He will take on the position on top of his existing role as Chair of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, serving in both until the end of January 2021.
Sir Hugh’s appointment follows the outgoing interim chair, Ian Smith, who has been at the helm since December 2017, when the Trust was placed in special measures due to its worrying cash deficit.
The Trust had spiralled from a budgeted £38 million deficit for the end of the financial year to £92 million – more than doubling within months. The Trust is now expected to end the year £130 million in the red.
NHS improvement said the out-going interim chair had left the Trust in a ‘much better position’. A new chief executive, Dr Clive Kay, is also now in place.
Sir Hugh said he believed his appointment would help King’s work more closely with neighbouring Guy’s and St Thomas’ as ‘two organisations with one voice’.
“I see my role as leading a process, supported by Guy’s and St Thomas’ and other partners in the local health system, to work with colleagues at King’s to help the organisation through its current difficulties to that new future – one where it stands on its own feet as an organisation,” he explained.
He added: “As chair of both Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s I will be promoting collaborative working and decision-making between our Trusts and with system partners in South East London and beyond.”
“We do not need a merger to do this. We will continue to operate as two organisations – but, increasingly, two organisations with one voice.”