Chesterfield Royal Hospital chief executive to leave his post

Simon Morritt.
Simon Morritt.

The man in charge of Chesterfield Royal Hospital is moving on to pastures new.

Simon Morritt, who has been chief executive of Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust since 2016, has been appointed the boss of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Mr Morritt said he 'didn't expect to be going so soon' and insisted he was 'certainly not unhappy' at the Chesterfield trust.

He added: "It’s full of great people doing amazing things.

"The position the trust is in now is testament to all the staff and a great deal of commitment and determination on their part."

In an announcement to staff about Mr Morritt's departure which has been seen by the Derbyshire Times, Dr Helen Phillips, chair of Chesterfield Royal NHS Foundation Trust, said: "He's been offered one of those often called 'once in a lifetime chances' - a career move to an area he knows well and has strong connections with, in a much larger organisation, with some very complex challenges to address.

"The position, as chief executive of York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is a real opportunity for him and whilst the board and I are saddened he'll be moving on, we completely recognise that opportunity and wish him all the very best on this next step. And whilst when he told me I was instantly disappointed (I'd hoped we'd keep him for a while longer!) it is always pleasing when someone's work and achievements are recognised. It illustrates that what were doing as an organisation has put us on the map.

"The trust is in a very different place since he joined and has a very different mind-set. Simon's leadership has contributed to creating an organisation that is well on its way to achieving ambitions that will place it where it wants to be - in the top 20 per cent for both patient and staff experience. We now benchmark favourably with other hospitals and the value we place on our staff – thanks to recognition and reward initiatives, leadership development and health and wellbeing is a major culture shift that we can be proud of. We now have an impressive record of achievement, from the CQC rating, high levels of staff engagement in everything from the NHS staff survey to Flu Fighters; a real commitment to staff-led change and improvement through Listening into Action and the QSIR programme; and leadership principles through Leading the Chesterfield Way that are making a real impact. Added to which our record on national standards puts us in a very healthy position, with ED waiting times and referral to treatment times the envy of many other organisations.

"All this means that when we look to recruit a new chief executive, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is a really attractive proposition for someone that has considerable drive and ambition. We'll be looking for an individual that can take us to our ultimate goal of achieving a CQC outstanding rating. And in the challenging NHS climate we'll need that same person to play a key role in Joined Up Care Derbyshire, to make the long-term NHS plan ambitions come to life, where we have a fully integrated care system (ICS) in place by 2020. It also goes without saying that we will want to find someone that will continue to focus on delivering on our promise to offer patients first-class care and treatment, and to give our staff places to work that they would be more than happy to recommend to family and friends, for both care and careers.

"I will keep you informed of the next steps in seeking a new chief executive and in the meantime I am sure you will join me in congratulating Simon on all he has achieved here and in wishing him further success when he comes to take-up his new position."