Simon Wright, who has been in charge of Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust (Sath) since September 2015, has revealed he will be joining another NHS organisation, starting his new job on July 22.
The trust, which manages Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, and Princess Royal Hospital Telford, has been under pressure after a critical Care Quality Commission inspection in November last year.
Mr Wright has also been the key man behind the controversial Future Fit reorganisation plans for the hospitals – and will now leave before seeing his vision put in place.
Questions will undoubtedly be raised by the timing of the announcement, as only last Friday the Department of Health confirmed that the Health Secretary was now in a position to take a decision over whether Future Fit is officially reviewed – as requested by Telford & Wrekin Council, which is a long term opponent of the plans.
Future Fit would see the county’s only A&E based at RSH, along with women and children’s services, meaning PRH would lose its A&E and consultant-led Women & Children’s unit.
The trust has not confirmed any replacement for Mr Wright, and said that “interim arrangements” would be in place for July 22 – the date when he takes up his new post.
The chief executive will be taking a job with a Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, although the trust has not been able to confirm which one.
Mr Wright said: “The decision to leave the trust hasn’t been an easy one to make as I have loved my time at Sath and would like to thank everybody for the support they have given me.
“I believe the trust is at the start of an exciting journey, and although there are still many challenges remaining the foundations have been laid to build a better future.”
Ben Reid, chair of Sath, said: “We will be building upon the foundations he has laid to ensure we can deliver the first class service that the public we serve deserve.”
Mr Wright’s decision has been welcomed by health campaigner Gill George of Shropshire Defend our NHS, and the Labour leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, Shaun Davies. But, Shrewsbury & Atcham MP, Daniel Kawczynski said he was saddened.