New ‘Group Model’ in Essex to Run Three Trusts

Three Essex trusts involved in an innovative new group model intended to oversee three hospitals in the region have now finalised their joint executive team.

Clare Panniker had already been named as the chief executive, but other members of the board have now been put in place.

This extraordinary decision has been necessitated by a potential £400 million deficit for the region’s healthcare operation by the end of the decade.

Thus, major plans have been set out to reconfigure the way that acute services are run in the region, with the new group overseeing a radical programme which will include Accident and Emergency downgrades.

The new team comprises executives from all three trusts – Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust, Southend University Hospital FT and Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust.

The team includes:

Chief medical officer – Celia Skinner (Basildon).
Chief nurse – Diane Sarkar (Basildon).
Chief transformation Officer – Tom Abell (Basildon).
Chief human resources Director – Mary Foulkes (Southend).
Chief finance officer – James O’Sullivan (Southend).
Chief information officer – Martin Callingham (Mid Essex).
Chief estates and facilities director – Carin Charlton (Mid Essex).

Three new managing directors have also been named, with the responsibilities for these roles primarily focused on leading site senior leadership teams.

These will oversee the day-to-day-requirements of interest within the new healthcare merger.

These individuals are as follows:

Managing director Mid Essex – Lisa Hunt.
Managing director Southend – Yvonne Blucher.
Managing director Basildon and Thurrock – Clare Culpin (from March, Tom Abell will be interim until then).

Not only will the new team be charged with balancing the books in one of the most financially challenged health economies in England, but it will also drive the reconfiguration of acute services in the area.

It is believed that this latter initiative will save the healthcare authorities in the region approximately £28 million.

Further information published for patients in November indicated that plans are sought to redesignate hospitals in the region.

Either one trust will become a “specialist emergency hospital” and two “emergency with elective care” hospitals; or one will become a “specialist emergency hospital”, one an “emergency with elective care” hospital and one an “elective with A&E”.

An official document provided more details on the plans in the region.

“All three could provide a “specialist emergency hospital” and all three hospitals could provide an “emergency hospital with elective”.

Broomfield Hospital would need to maintain a full range of emergency care to support its plastics and burns centre, as would Basildon Hospital to support its cardiothoracic centre.”


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