Wanted: Norfolk and Suffolk NHS health bosses
The resignation of the Norfolk and Norwich hospital trust's chief executive means there are now three health providers without long-term chiefs.
Anna Dugdale's departure from Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in late June resulted in the trust joining East of England Ambulance Service and Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in searching for new permanent leaders.
Ms Dugdale quit following allegations of a 'culture of bullying' at the N&N, highlighted by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission.
A Healthwatch Norfolk spokesman warned if a leadership vacuum meant a lack of focus on patient outcome, then that needed to be sorted out as soon as possible.
The spokesman said: 'We want to see hospitals and other NHS organisations that are well led, with patients' needs first and foremost in all decisions.
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'Strong leadership can take many forms, and needs to exist at all levels of Norfolk's NHS.'
Richard Parker, who is also the N&N's interim chief operating officer, has been appointed as acting chief executive and accountable officer. But an interim chief executive is expected to be recruited shortly.
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Interviews for a new chief executive at East of England Ambulance Service have been held as they seek a permanent replacement for interim leader Anthony Marsh.
The trust's board announced last December that Mr Marsh, who is balancing the job with leading West Midlands Ambulance Service, would leave before his two-year contract was up, although they added a new chief executive has to be in place before he leaves.
A spokesman said: 'Time-scales for when a new chief executive starts will depend on the outcome of the interview process.'
Norwich CCG is also searching for a new leader after former chief executive Jonathan Fagge resigned in May.
His departure came three months after he was cleared of assaulting his wife.
Dr Chris Price, chairman of Norwich CCG, said the CCG expected to invite three to four candidates to interviews, which will be held in early August.
The Healthwatch spokesman said: 'We understand that NHS chief executives are under pressure to deliver better outcomes for patients with limited resources, but we are talking about well-paid posts that should attract individuals that can rise to that challenge.'
And yesterday it emerged Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) must start the search for a new director of finance.
It follows the resignation of Andrew Hopkins yesterday and comes amid the trust being under severe financial pressure from regulators.
Mr Hopkins said the trust, which was currently in special measures, was in a 'very challenging position right now'.
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is set for an interim chief executive following the resignation of Anna Dugdale, pictured.
Trust chairman John Fry said appointing a permanent chief executive was 'likely to take several months'.
'We will be appointing someone on an interim basis in the meantime within the next few weeks,' he said.
Whoever is appointed as the permanent chief executive will take over at a time when the trust is under close scrutiny from health watchdog the Care Quality Commission.
Their previous inspection, published in June, found a 'culture of bullying' at the trust which 'emanated from the most senior management'. A follow-up inspection is scheduled for November.
Wages for hospital chief executives can vary from £100,000 to £200,000 a year.
Norwich CCG has been without a permanent leader since May, and chairman Chris Price was not able to say when the successor to Jonathan Fagge, pictured, would start.
CCG chairman Chris Price said: 'The CCG is now looking for a dynamic and inspiring leader with the gravitas to unite colleagues and stakeholders across the local health economy. In doing so, they will build on the strong foundations already made by the CCG and help to deliver the fundamental transformation required to ensure our population continues to receive outstanding care and services, whilst maintaining value for money. We are not able to say when the new chief officer will start.'
The nationally approved salary range for a chief executive is £95,000 to £125,000 a year.
East of England Ambulance
A turnaround in the performance of the East of England Ambulance Service has prompted calls for Anthony Marsh, pictured, to stay on as chief executive.
A petition with around 700 signatures was handed in to the government on Monday, calling for Mr Marsh to remain in post.
The petition was distributed among staff and was available online.
An EEAS spokesman said: 'Anthony Marsh was brought in to accelerate improvements in immediate service delivery and to build the foundations for long-term sustainability for up to a two-year period. As a result of a series of actions that he put in place when he took over in January 2014, services to patients and performance is significantly improved, although we recognise there is still much work for us to do. Now these service improvements are embedded, the time is right to recruit a new and permanent chief executive.'
Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Andrew Hopkins' departure from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust leaves a large void in the trust's board.
Mr Hopkins has spent nearly 12 years working at the trust.
NSFT is facing a range of financial problems, and health watchdog the Care Quality Commission reported the trust was not a 'safe' service following an earlier inspection.
Among the financial difficulties the trust is experiencing is a rise in spending on temporary staff and the cost of sending patients out of the area for treatment. The trust saw its spending on agency staff rise by around 50pc from 2013/14 (£16.4m) to 2014/15 (£24.8m).
Last month it emerged the trust spent a record amount on temporary staff in May.
Meanwhile, out-of-area treatment for patients has cost the trust £790,000 so far this financial year. And the trust has accrued a deficit of £2.1m in the same period.
Mr Hopkins said: 'I feel that now is the right time for me to step aside and for someone else to provide a fresh approach to that challenge.
'I will greatly miss all of my colleagues and all of the fantastic staff I have met in my time at NSFT.'
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