Changes are being made to the leadership of the two hospital Trusts providing services on the north and south banks of the River Humber.
In November last year the boards at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust agreed to progress towards implementing a group leadership model which will see a joint executive team, led by a joint Chief Executive, oversee the management of the two organisations. Recruitment to this post is well underway and we expect to make an announcement regarding that appointment shortly.
At Hull University Teaching Hospitals (HUTH) NHS Trust Chief Executive Chris Long has informed the board and the Trust that he is not applying for the post of group Chief Executive and will retire from the Trust and the NHS at some point later this year.
And at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole (NLaG) NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive Peter Reading has announced he will be leaving at the end of this month to take up an Interim Chief Executive role at another NHS organisation.
Sean Lyons, Chair at both HUTH and NLaG, said: “Chris Long has been the CEO of the Hull University Teaching Hospitals Trust for almost nine years, providing clear leadership and guidance through some of the most challenging times that the NHS has seen and he has done this in a manner that has demonstrated his passion for patient care and his dedication to supporting staff.
“Chris has always demonstrated dignity and composure , and has been a great example of living the values of the Trust. It has been a pleasure to have worked alongside him in my time as chairman. He has been instrumental in helping us to progress our work towards developing a group leadership model for HUTH and NL&G and I respect and understand his decision to retire at this time. On behalf of the trust and the board I would like to thank Chris for his service, and send him the very best wishes for his retirement.
“I also want to thank Peter Reading for leading NLaG through the last five and a half years and getting the Trust to where we are today. It wasn’t an easy task. The Trust was in a tough place when he joined in 2017 and he took on the task with real commitment and energy. Since he joined we have seen huge progress in so many areas. Peter deserves huge credit for this and I want to wish him all the very best for the future.
“We are continuing with our plans to create a Group structure with Hull University Teaching Hospitals and we expect to confirm the appointment of a Group Chief Executive to lead both NLaG and HUTH in the near future.”
Chris Long said: “After much consideration I have decided I will not be standing for the Group Chief Executive position. This has not been an easy decision but I feel that at the age of almost 63 I will not be able to provide the longevity in post that leading the transition of our two Trusts into a single group will require. I will therefore retire from the Trust and the NHS at some point later this year.
“I have been working now for 44 years – 12 years in the Army followed by 32 years in the NHS. Of all the jobs I have done, Chief Executive of HUTH has undoubtedly been the greatest privilege. The complexity of our hospitals and the professionalism, both clinical and non-clinical, needed to run them and our services still amazes me. The staff at HUTH do the most remarkable work every day and demonstrate a level of skill, teamwork, care and compassion which is humbling. In particular, their response to Covid was exemplary and they should feel proud of what they did during those challenging, uncertain and frightening times. I am proud to have served on their behalf.”
Peter Reading said: “Today I have let our staff know that I will not be a candidate at the Group Chief Executive interviews tomorrow as another opportunity has come up for me, and I will be leaving the Trust at the end of this month for a new role as Interim Chief Executive at another NHS organisation.
“We believe we are very close to leaving the Recovery Support Programme (what used to be called Special Measures), although there may still be one or two process issues to go through. For me, this means that most of what I was asked by NHS Improvement to come to NLaG to do back in 2017 has been done – although of course, most of the credit for that huge step forward sits with our wonderful staff who have really turned this place around. So the time is right for me to move onto my next challenge.
“Working at NLaG has been both a personal and professional pleasure. I have seen our staff achieve many amazing things in the past six years and they should be incredibly proud of that; I know I am. Their dedication to their roles, their ability to do them with humour and, when appropriate, with challenge, is as strong as any I have seen anywhere in the NHS throughout my career. I am confident this will continue under a new Chief Executive in the Group arrangements with Hull University Teaching Hospitals and I wish them, and the Group, every success.”
Ian Reekie, Lead Governor for the Council of Governors at NLaG, said: “I would like to thank Peter, on behalf of all the Governors and our wider communities, for everything he has done for the Trust. We really appreciate his huge contribution to improving both the quality of services and the buildings they are provided in since he joined us in 2017. The Trust is a different place now to what it was then and that is down to Peter, his leadership and the drive he has shown to build a really strong foundation for the next stage of improving the Trust. I would like to wish him well, on behalf of the Council of Governors, for the future as he takes on a new challenge.”