News in Brief – maternal mental health hubs, appointment news, and new hospital main entrance

Welcome to the latest edition of our news in brief. This week, we’ve reported the latest on the new NHS England CEO, and NHS Digital’s targets to improve diversity in its workforce.

New COO appointed

John Palmer has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.

John has been acting as the interim COO since April 2021, after previous incumbant Peter Adey left the trust earlier in the year, but had not yet been formally appointed to the position.

Previously, John worked as Site Chief Executive of Denmark Hill (King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) and as a deputy group CEO.

Medical Director steps down

North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) has announced that its Medical Director, Chris Burton, will be leaving the trust, after serving for more than 12 years in the post.

Deputy Medical Director Tim Whittlestone will join the board on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is found.

Maria Kane OBE, CEO of North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “I would like to thank Chris on behalf of all staff and patients here at NBT for the outstanding clinical leadership he has provided to our organisation over the years. It has been an honour to work with him, and we will miss the dedication and professionalism he has continued to show, through thick and thin.”

Tim Whittlestone, who has most recently acted as the clinical lead for the NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol, will assume the role in August and continue to lead the regions vaccination programme for six months.

Funding to support Nottinghamshire ICS

Nottingham Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has announced over £3.5 million in funding to support disadvantaged people in the region.

Changing Futures is a £64 million programme backed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and The National Lottery Community Fund. It works across England to help support those who suffer from ‘multiple disadvantages’ such as homelessness, substance misuse, mental health issues, domestic abuse, and contact with the criminal justice system.

Hugh Porter, Clinical Director and Interim Lead of Nottingham City ICP, commented: “I am delighted we have been awarded this funding to help transform the services available to some of our most disadvantaged citizens over the next three years. It will allow us to build on the great work of Opportunity Nottingham and other partners in the city. It’s a really exciting opportunity to deliver a more proactive service, providing wrap-around support for those facing SMD, creating long-term benefits for them and the city.”

The fund is a result of a bid submitted by the Nottingham City Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) which brings together Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Opportunity Nottingham, among other local bodies.

Non-executive director appointed at Leeds

A new associate non-executive director has been appointed by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and will join the trust’s board.

Philomena Corrigan was the first Chief Executive of the Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group in 2017, and retired from the role in 2019.

Dame Linda Pollard, DBE DL Hon LLD, Chair of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We’re extremely fortunate to have someone of Philomena’s calibre joining the board. Her reputation, and the high esteem in which she is held, is second to none.”

“After a long and distinguished career in the NHS, she brings with her a wealth of experience, not just in healthcare, but in healthcare in Leeds. Her decades of experience will be a huge asset to our board as we face a future that holds both significant challenges and opportunities. I’m very much looking forward to working with her.”

New maternal health hub obtains funding

The Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has received funding to become a Maternal Mental Health Hub, as part of a nationwide programme to improve maternity services.

New staff will be recruited for the service, which is expected to launch in the winter of 2021. The new services will be a part of the county’s Better Births programme. Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT), in partnership with United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), works to support expectant mothers as well as those who have experienced birth-related trauma.

Jodie Lindley, Service Manager for LPFT Adult Community Mental Health Services, said: “We are delighted to be expanding the services we can offer to mothers and expectant mothers in the county who need some extra support with their mental health. Pregnancy and motherhood are unique experiences and perinatal mental health problems, occurring during pregnancy or in the 24 months following the birth of a child, are likely to affect up to one in four women.

“Our Maternal Mental Health Hub will allow us to provide further specialist support across the county, improving quality of care and outcomes for many women.”

Hospital main entrance completed

The first phase of a £15m investment project to transform services at Aintree Hospital has been completed. A new main entrance has been unveiled at the hospital, with cleaner and safer drop-off facilities for patients as part of the development.

The investment is a result of NHS England-backed funding, and is a part of a wider £22.5m project to improve the tower block at the hospital, which contains 480 beds, and support the emergency services at the hospital.

Steve Warburton, Chief Executive of Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Aintree University Hospital, said: “This is the biggest ever single investment in Aintree’s Tower Block and will extend its lifespan by up to 30 years. The Tower Block development is great news for our patients and staff. It is also a vote of confidence in the hospital and the vital role it plays for the city region’s NHS services.

“Our staff work hard to provide high-quality care for our patients, and it is important that our buildings support and reflect this.”