The chief executive of Nottingham University Hospitals Trust has stepped down from his dual role as chief of Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust, just four months after accepting the role.
Peter Homa took on the shared role in June ahead of plans for the two trusts to merge in the autumn. However, in September the merger was pushed back until 2017.
Louise Scull, who has been chair for both trusts since June, is also standing down from Sherwood Forest, as is joint chief nurse Mandie Sunderland.
They decided to leave their roles at Sherwood Forest as the merger is taking longer originally expected.
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust is the UK’s fourth largest acute teaching trust.
It was established on 1st April 2006 following the merger of Nottingham City Hospital and the Queen’s Medical Centre.
Despite the departures, NHS Improvement has said that forming a “strategic partnership” is still the best way forward for both trusts and NUH has said it is still committed to the merger.
Earlier this year Sherwood Forest, which was put in special measures in 2013, said it had no future as an independent provider and that joining with Nottingham University Hospitals was a “clear strategic fit”.
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust provides acute and specialist services to 2.5 million people within Nottingham and surrounding communities from the Queen’s Medical Centre and the City Hospital campuses.
The trust employs over 12,000 staff and also relies on 1,500 volunteers.
Peter Herring, managing director at Sherwood Forest will take on the chief executive’s responsibilities in early November.
Vice chair Peter Marks will become chair.
A spokeswoman from NHS Improvement noted that organisational challenges had impacted on the current situation at the trust.
“While both organisations remain fully committed to the process, as winter approaches, both organisations need dedicated leaders to concentrate on operational challenges, such as finance and waiting times in accident and emergency at Nottingham. While the formal process of creating a strategic partnership has been paused, there will still be cooperation and joint working between the two trusts where it is in the best interests of patients.”
Homa outlined the reasons for his decision.
“We agreed to take on these additional responsibilities for a short-term period. Now that the timings have moved beyond 2016, we believe it is in the best interests of patients and staff at NUH and Sherwood Forest Hospital that the chair, chief nurse and chief executive can dedicate themselves to each trust, their patients and staff through this next period.”
A merger with Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is still in the pipeline.
But the hierarchy of the organisation remains sceptical about the trust’s £2.5 billion private finance initiative contract.