Interim CEO rules himself out of the running for top hospital job

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THE interim chief executive of a hospital trust, parachuted in after the sudden departure of the chief executive, has ruled himself out of the running for the permanent post.

John Saxby took the helm following the resignation of Phil Morley, a fortnight ahead of what is expected to be a highly critical Care Quality Commission report.

Mr Saxby, the recently retired chief executive of Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, told members of the board of Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust he didn’t intend to apply “under any circumstances.”

The board heard that the trust was failing seven out of 10 key targets from January to March this year, with too many patients waiting too long for treatment in 11 specialities, including cardiothoracic surgery (82.3 per cent getting treated in less than 18 weeks following referral, against a target of 92 per cent).

Mr Saxby described as “very disappointing” the fact that 10 patients had waited over 52 weeks for treatment and said referral times were likely to continue failing to meet targets for the next six months at least “unless we get a grip on how we deal with the backlog”.

However he described the trust’s lower-than-forecast surplus of £5.9m as “encouraging”.

The hospital was one of the first in the country to undergo a root-and-branch review of care by the new chief inspector of hospitals in February.

The trust said it had seen a draft report, but would not comment ahead of the final report’s publication which is expected on May 6 or 7. Four headhunting firms will be engaged and a new chief executive is expected to be in place by the autumn.