New hospital chief pledges better care

STEPHEN PULLINGER The man taking over the helm of the region's most successful hospital - the Gorleston's James Paget Hospital - has pledged to build on its foundation status by investing even more in improved services.

STEPHEN PULLINGER

The man taking over the helm of the region's most successful hospital - the Gorleston's James Paget Hospital - has pledged to build on its foundation status by investing even more in improved services.

Adrian Pennington, 44, currently chief officer of the national heart improvement programme, based in Leicester, highlighted the fact that £40m of new investment was already in place.

He said: “Plans are in place to reduce the number of beds in each bay from six to four to give patients more space and afford them more dignity and privacy. Outpatient facilities will also be upgraded.

“I believe one of the real benefits foundation status brings is the active involvement of the local community. Hospitals have made decisions without community involvement for too long. When considering where to investment, our members will make suggestions and give advice and that is critical.”

Mr Pennington, married to Linda and father of twin eight-year-old girls, Harriet and Georgia, visits hospital all over the country in his current role, and said the James Paget - Norfolk's only foundation status hospital - was “without doubt one of the friendliest I have been too”.

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When he arrives as chief executive at the start of April he said he would be joining a “first class hospital, one of the best in the country”.

Mr Pennington, who has worked within the NHS for 28 years, takes over from David Hill who left Norfolk for a top health job in Bermuda after steering the James Paget to foundation status last year.

Before his present job, overseeing a programme that has led to thousands of improvements in the treatment of heart patients, Mr Pennington was deputy chief executive at Northampton General Hospital.

Trust chairman John Hemming said: “Adrian joins us at an exciting stage in our development. He's got a very strong background in acute hospitals and he's spent the last three years leading a key national programme.

“This means Adrian has an excellent understanding of the national drivers and challenges facing the health service and we look forward to welcoming him to the trust.”