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Appointment of Chief Executive at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

7 December 2018

The Chairman of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Sir David Nicholson, has announced the appointment of Matthew Hopkins as the Trust’s new Chief Executive.

Sir David said: “Matthew is a highly experienced NHS leader with a strong track record of delivering significant improvements in quality and safety of patient care, empowering and engaging staff and building strong partnerships across health and care systems.

“His dynamic leadership has transformed a number of Trusts facing very similar challenges to those we face.

“He emerged as the clear favourite to be our new Chief Executive after a rigorous selection process and I have no doubt that he will build on the progress we have made and bring extra focus and momentum to our efforts to improve patient care.”

Matthew Hopkins joined the NHS as a nurse before moving into health management, taking on senior roles in a number of large NHS organisations in London.

He has been chief executive of two large acute trusts – Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals and, most recently, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals which he successfully led out of quality special measures in 2017.

Matthew said: “I am delighted to be joining Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. The Trust faces a number of challenges, and it is clear to me that it also has a huge amount of potential and dedicated hard-working people.

“The Trust, under the leadership of Michelle McKay, has clearly made real progress in building a more positive culture through its 4ward programme. I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues to involve our patients, our staff and our partners in driving further rapid improvement in our services.”

Matthew is due to take up his new role in January. He stepped down from his post at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals earlier this year, in response to their worsening financial performance.

He said: “As Chief Executive, it was right that I accepted accountability for the situation – and the lessons learned will be valuable in shaping my approach to helping Worcestershire Acute plan and deliver a robust financial plan for the future.”

Sir David Nicholson added: “The circumstances leading to Matthew’s decision to leave his previous role were well known to me before he was invited for interview.

“Matthew’s willingness to accept accountability, his attitude and his determination to learn from these setbacks helped to confirm to me that has the insight, commitment and resilience to provide the leadership that our hospitals need.

“His appointment has been backed by our regulators NHS Improvement who were represented on the interview panel. His approach also impressed the patients, clinicians and board members who sat on our various stakeholder panels as part of the recruitment process.

“I have every confidence that he is the right person for what we all recognise will be an extremely challenging and rewarding, role with us.”

Dale Bywater, NHS Improvement’s Executive Regional Managing Director (Midlands and East), said: “We look forward to working with Matthew and the wider leadership team to ensure further improvements are made to patient services in the coming months.”

Sir David added: “I would like to take this opportunity to again express my thanks to Michelle McKay for everything she has achieved in her time with the Trust, not least to the many improvements in the safety and quality of patient care that have been delivered under her leadership.

“I said when Michelle announced that she would be leaving us later this month that my priority was to find an outstanding permanent replacement for her to ensure that we had a stable leadership team to take us on the next stage of our journey.

“With Matthew joining us at the start of the new year we have achieved exactly that.”