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NHSI appoint joint King’s College chair in new strategic relationship with major NHS trust

King’s College Hospital NHS FT (KCHT) has appointed its new interim chair, meaning Sir Hugh Taylor will share the position across two of England’s largest foundation trusts.

Taylor, who currently leads Guy’s and St Thomas’ FT’s board, will join the King’s trust alongside in order “enable closer working and a deeper and long-term relationship between two of the largest acute healthcare providers in the capital.”

King’s College trust’s appointment comes days after the announcement of Clive Kay as its new chief executive as KCHT tries to drive itself out of financial special measures.

The trust faces a budget deficit of over £100m and was placed into special measures by NHS Improvement (NHSI) after chief executive Ian Dalton said “the financial situation at King’s had deteriorated very seriously” in just a few months.

The budget deficit at King’s was reported at £38.8m, but leaped to £92m over the course of 2017-18 and it ended the year with a £130m funding blackhole.

The latest recruitment drive comes after the resignation of Lord Kerslake, who announced his departure in protest against historic underfunding in the NHS, claiming the government were unrealistic about the scale of challenges facing the NHS and King’s.

NHSI said Sir Hugh Taylor was one of the most experienced and distinguished chairs in the NHS, and is expected to serve in both roles until 31 January 2021.

He will replace Ian Smith who has served as chair on an interim basis since December 2017 when the trust was placed into special measures, and NHSI stated that he leaves the trust in a much better position than when he joined.

Taylor said he was looking forward to joining King’s and said the trust “cannot and should not stand alone.”

“This is about creating a new future for King’s, building on the progress it has made under Ian and Peter’s leadership over the last 12 months.

“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.”

Baroness Dido Harding thanked the departing Ian Smith for stabilising the trust, and said she was “delighted” with the appointment of Sir Hugh Taylor and the greater collaboration agreed between the new trusts.

Smith said it had been a hugely rewarding experience and stated: “Together I think we have made great strides in understanding the systemic issues that led King’s into deficit and identifying the changes that are needed to return it to a healthy position.”



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