Search

‘Stability at the top’ key concern for Whittington Hospital bosses following departures

14:00 02 May 2014

Interim chief executive of Whittington Health Simon Pleydell said ensuring stability at the top was a key goal for the trust. Picture: Polly Hancock

Interim chief executive of Whittington Health Simon Pleydell said ensuring stability at the top was a key goal for the trust. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Stability at the top has become a major priority for the leadership team at the Whittington Hospital after a series of sudden departures.

Amid uncertainty over the future of the hospital, interim chief executive Simon Pleydell told the Ham&High efforts to “steady the ship” had now become a key focus for the 
organisation.

“At the moment we don’t have a settled team,” admitted the former chief executive of South Tees Hospitals Foundation Trust.

“We have a number of members of the board who are interim appointments – including myself – so we need to make sure we attract the best people for those posts and build a steady team that can take the organisation forward.

“There’s obviously a big correlation between stability of leadership and confidence among staff and the community.

“Recruiting a good team will help improve that.”

Whittington Health, the trust which runs the hospital in Magdala Avenue, Archway, has seen several of its board members quit over the past few months, prompting further speculation of unrest.

This includes the shock resignation in March of chief executive, Dr Yi Mien Koh.

Mr Pleydell said it could take six to nine months before the trust can develop a clearer vision of the hospital’s future.

Integrated care and gaining Foundation Trust status are said to be pivotal features of the trust’s future.

Rebuilding bridges with the community is also seen as a major goal for the board.

It follows the disastrous plan to sell off some of the hospital’s buildings last year, a project that prompted mass protests and led to an embarrassing U-turn.

“Community engagement is easy to say but it’s not easy to do well,” said Mr Pleydell.

“One thing you notice when you come to the Whittington is how much the local population loves their hospital.

“We need to make sure we have a shared vision with the community about what the future of the organisation will be.

“Perhaps there isn’t enough clarity at the moment, but that will come.

“I’m a firm believer that trust is created through actions and I think the important thing for everyone to do is to sit down and work together.”

Shirley Franklin, of Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition, welcomed Mr Pleydell’s comments.

“Instability at the top has bred anxiety among both staff and the community,” she said.

“We want to have a positive relationship with the board but that can only happen if the community can trust them.

“Mr Pleydell seems to be someone who is committed to the NHS.

“What we don’t want is privateers or people imposing cuts – we want to protect our hospital from that.”

The trust admits one of its challenges is balancing the books.

While refraining from mentioning “cuts”, the trust admits there are a number of “efficiency savings” which could be made.

This includes fixing the “high amount spent on agency staff” and “reducing unnecessary waste”.

But Mr Pleydell – a chief executive for over 15 years – said the community and hospital staff should be confident about the future.

“I am a very experienced pair of hands so I know what good looks like,” he said.

“And the performance of this organisation is really good.

“There may be some challenges but we have some terrific clinical teams here – and that’s a key strength.”

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 18:12
Ian Campbell outside Hendon Magistrates' Court. Picture: Polly Hancock.

A man who threatened to burn down a bus packed with Jewish women and children has been jailed for five months for his anti-Semitic tirade.

Yesterday, 17:00
Left to right: Jeremy Clynes, Deborah Warland, Hetty Colchester and Jonathan Seres, who all helped to set up Garden Suburb Community Library. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Campaigners who took over running their local library to save it from closure fear that new multi-million pound cuts will “decimate” Barnet’s library service.

Yesterday, 16:45
Will Jenkins, of Highgate School, was a finalist in the 11-14 category at the 50th Wildlife Photograher of the Year Awards

When an 11-year-old Highgate schoolboy leapt out of a swimming pool to capture a striking dragon-like iguana on camera, he had no clue the snap would class him among the best young photographers in the world.

Yesterday, 15:21
Members of The Highgate Bowl Action Group which includes members of The Highgate Society, Highgate Neighbourhood Forum, Highgate Village Business Association, Conservation Area Advisory Committee and the Harington Scheme, are hailing a victory in their fight to save the Bowl from development. Picture: Polly Hancock

Campaigners are hailing a victory in a 50-year fight to save a leafy stretch of land known as Highgate Bowl from development after a planning inspector threw out plans to build luxury homes.

Most read news

“Space is hard and today was a tough day.”

One pilot is dead and another seriously injured after the craft exploded over the Mojave desert.

One pilot has died and another is seriously injured after a rocket belonging to billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism venture crashed during a test flight. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket came down in the Mojave Desert in California. An eyewitness reported that the craft exploded in flight after ignition. A Virgin Galactic spokesman said the […]

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition