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NHS’s longest-serving trust CEO to step down ahead of major merger

The longest-serving chief executive in any hospital trust in the UK has announced he is stepping down after 19 years in the role ahead of a proposed merger of his organisation.

Tony Spotswood, the CEO of the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS FT, has said he will step down from his role at the end of December this year as he announced his decision to not apply for the interim joint chief executive role.

His organisation and Poole Hospital trust have recently revealed plans to establish a single joint interim chair and chief executive to take forward the work to create a major emergency and planned care hospital, thus merging the two organisations.

A formal appointment process is underway and it is anticipated that the outcome will be known by mid-December.

Spotswood will no longer be considered for the new role after announcing that he had reached this personal decision after “careful reflection.”

He commented: “It has been a privilege to lead our trust over the last two decades. I am proud of what our staff have achieved and of the care that we provide each and every day to residents across east Dorset and west Hampshire.

“It has been a pleasure to work with so many hard-working, gifted and talented colleagues.

“I know that working together the teams across The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals and Poole Hospital are determined to ensure that they will provide outstanding care as our plans to create a new emergency and planned care hospital take shape over the coming months.”

The two trusts first attempted a merger in 2013 but the scheme was blocked by the Competition Commission, after which they launched another effort in early 2017.

The chair of Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS FT, David Moss, commented on Spotswood’s departure: “Tony has achieved so much over his 19 years as chief executive of our trust. As our services have expanded he has overseen many advances in the health care that we provide.

“His strong leadership has helped improve both the quality and safety of everything we do for our patients and we are proud of all that our staff have achieved during his time in charge; Tony has been an inspirational leader.”


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