Trish Armstrong-Child, the chief executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, is stepping down having accepted the role of chief executive at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The HSJ, a news service that covers policy and management in the NHS, says that the departure could pave the way for Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust to be taken over by St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
The HSJ says in a piece published this morning: “SOHT has long been deemed unsustainable as a standalone provider. Well-placed sources in the region said Ms Armstrong-Child’s departure should pave the way for the trust to be taken over by St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals Trust, and its chief executive Ann Marr.
“It is thought this could initially be under a management agreement — similar to that which was in operation in 2015-16 — while a long-term solution is agreed.
“This has yet to be fully confirmed, however.”
Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust has had multiple chief executives and interim chief executives over a 6-year period stemming from the departure of Jonathan Parry in 2016 for gross misconduct.
OTS has approached both Southport & Ormskirk NHS Trust and St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust for comment. No firm source to the claims was offered by the HSJ.
Trish Armstrong-Child was previously deputy chief executive and director of nursing at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust. She was appointed as chief executive at Southport and Ormskirk in 2019.
She said: “When I joined the Trust, I could never have imagined that I would be leading the organisation and its staff through a global pandemic. What seemed an ‘impossible ask’ of us 18 months ago saw the staff of Southport and Ormskirk rise to the challenge and, in the face of adversity, continue to serve the patients and the community when they needed us most.
“This organisation has much to be proud of and I feel immensely proud to have been a part of it.”
Trust Chair Neil Masom said: “Trish has been an outstanding chief executive, guiding the organisation with skill and compassion through an extraordinarily challenging period. We wish her all the very best in her new role.”
In her departure letter to staff, Trish Armstrong-Child said: “When I joined the Trust, I could never have imagined that I would be leading the organisation and its staff through a global pandemic. What seemed an “impossible ask” of us 18 months ago saw the staff of Southport and Ormskirk rise to the challenge and, in the face of adversity, continue to serve the patients and the community when they needed us most.
“I recognise that you as part of the local community have had to face much the same anxieties and challenges that Covid-19 presented as everyone else. However, you have always made sure the needs of patients still came first in circumstances none of you will have experienced or ever imagined.
“Quite simply, you have showed yourselves to be the very best the NHS can offer.”