NHS heavyweight and trust boss Sir David Dalton announces retirement

Sir David Dalton, group chief executive of the Northern Care Alliance (NCA) NHS Group, has today announced his retirement.

In a letter written to staff across the organisation, Sir David announced that he will be retiring on 31 March 2019, at which point a new chief executive will hopefully be appointed and in place to start the post on 1 April.

In a message to staff from the Salford Royal and Pennine Acute trusts, both of which run under his leadership, he wrote: “September marks the beginning of my 40th year of service to the NHS; for nearly 18 years of those I have had the privilege of being chief executive of Salford Royal and for the last three, CEO of Pennine Acute Trust too, after our two organisations joined to become the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group.

“I have been considering, with trusted colleagues, when the best time would be for me to leave the organisation and I am grateful for their advice. Although there is never a good time – I have concluded that with a secure future based on solid foundations and high external ratings, it is the right time for someone else to pick up the baton and lead the organisation for the next stage on its journey.

“At the moment I don’t know what shape my future will take, but I am certain that I want to continue a contribution to healthcare and to public service in some way.”

A major figure in the health service known for his capacity to turn around struggling trusts and ensure high-performing providers excel, Sir David was even appointed by then health secretary Jeremy Hunt to negotiate with junior doctors throughout a series of strikes – which saw him write to all 45,000 trainee doctors in a last-ditch personal appeal to prevent another walkout.

Dalton was known for giving doctors a key role in running Salford Royal, which has one of the highest staff satisfaction rates in the NHS and is rated ‘outstanding’ by the CQC.

The NCA Group formed out of the collaboration between Salford Royal NHS FT and the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which began back in April 2016. Since then, the CQC found that, with the support of Salford Royal, the Pennine Acute trust made a number of significant improvements – with 70% of the aspects of its services rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding.’ 

Top image: MAHSC


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