Mental health trust postpones chief executive recruitment process
- Credit: Archant
Hopes of hiring a new chief executive at an under-scrutiny mental health trust by the end of the year have suffered a setback after a number of candidates withdrew from the recruitment process.
Interviews were due to take place next week for the position at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) following the resignation of chief executive Aidan Thomas earlier this year.
However, the chairman of the NHS trust today said that the recruitment process had been postponed until the New Year after a number of candidates pulled out.
Deputy chief executive Andrew Hopkins will continue as interim chief executive after Mr Thomas resigned in June after four years in charge and later joined Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust as chief executive.
Officials at NSFT said they had hoped to recruit a new chief executive later this month after hiring recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson to advertise the position.
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Gary Page, chairman, said a number of the candidates had withdrawn due to finding alternative employment or changes in their personal circumstances and the trust did not have a strong enough shortlist. He added that recruitment process would restart in January.
'I have decided with the interview panel and non-executive directors, to postpone this process. To run a rigorous recruitment process it is critical to be able to benchmark the candidates against each other, without a strong shortlist with diverse backgrounds this was not possible. This decision is not a reflection on the quality of the candidates individually.'
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'I understand this is disappointing but this is such as critical decision for the Trust that I want to make sure we get it right,' he said.
The mental health trust has come under criticism from unions and staff this year over plans to cut bed numbers by 20pc and reduce the number of staff as part of a radical restructure of the NHS trust at a time when services are under increased demand.