Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust Chair Neil Masom has confirmed to staff that the trust will enter into “a partnership” with St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals from 20 September.
In an email to staff, Masom says that an “agreement for long-term collaboration, which has the backing of NHS England, was unanimously approved” by the Trust Board this week.
Any specific changes to hospital operations are not detailed in the email, though Masom says that the partnership agreement will “Sustain the delivery of improved outcomes for patients” and enable the trust to share “the benefits and experiences of a trust rated ‘outstanding’ ”
He says: “St Helens and Knowsley (STHK) is a high-performing trust, rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and scores highly in the annual NHS Staff Survey. Our two trusts also have a record of working together – most notably, our hospitals’ pathology service has been provided with the support of Whiston hospital since 2014.”
To maximise the benefits of the new arrangement for both organisations, the Southport and Ormskirk board has agreed changes to its structure when current Chief Executive Trish Armstrong-Child takes up her new role leading Blackpool hospitals.
The board has appointed Ann Marr OBE, Chief Executive of St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, to be the Trust’s new chief executive.
Anne-Marie Stretch, who is currently, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Human Resources at STHK, has also been appointed to the new post of managing director. She will have day-to-day management responsibility for the Trust and lead the executive team which is otherwise unchanged.
Both Ann and Anne-Marie will become members of the Southport and Ormskirk board. Ann will also continue as Chief Executive of St Helens and Knowsley.
These arrangements become effective from Monday 20 September 2021.
Ann Marr said: “Working together in partnership gives us the opportunity to provide high quality and sustainable services to all of the people we serve. We are very much looking forward to working closely with our skilled and committed colleagues at Southport and Ormskirk.”
Following the announcement of the resignation of SONHS Chief Executive Trish Armstrong-Child, the Trust Board confirmed that despite improvements noted by the Care Quality Commission, there were ‘a dozen or so ‘fragile’ clinical services’ which the Trust was struggling to continue offering alone.