SCARBOROUGH Hospital boss Richard Sunley has announced he is to step down as the trust moves to closer to a merger with York.
He will stay on as chief executive until starting a secondment role at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust on March 7.
Mike Proctor, deputy chief executive of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, will become acting chief executive at Scarborough as discussions continue around integrating the trusts into a single organisation.
Mr Sunley said: “I’m very proud of what the trust has achieved. The focus has now got to be on leading this trust into a formal partnership with York, with the aim of delivering a comprehensive set of high quality services for patients.
“I passionately believe that this is the best way forward for this organisation.”
His successor Mr Proctor said: “In recent months the respective teams from York and Scarborough hospital trusts have developed excellent working relationships.
“I am delighted to have this opportunity to take this integration to the next stage. I look forward to hearing from staff in all disciplines and the patients and public of Scarborough, Bridlington, Whitby, and Ryedale to understand their ambitions and fears about this growing partnership.
“There is much to do, but I am confident we can improve quality of care for all our patients.”
Rotherham-born Mr Sunley took on the chief executive role at Scarborough on March 1 2009 and is thought to have been on a salary of between £145,000 and £150,000.
His previous role was as director of operations at the award-winning Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
He took over from interim boss Christine Green, making him the fifth chief executive at Scarborough in seven years.
Mr Sunley has seen the trust through a challenging two years, which saw the trust receive damning reports from the Care Quality Commission and Dr Foster guide.
However he has also been at the helm to see a number of improvements and commendable follow-up reports from both organisations.
Sir Michael Carlisle, chairman of Scarborough and North East Yorkshire NHS Trust, said: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Richard for his leadership over the past two years.
“He has been a tremendous asset to the trust and has helped us take great strides forward.
“As chief executive Richard has seen the trust improve its performance both clinically and financially. Not only have we achieved financial balance in the last two years, but we have improved our overall performance within the NHS performance ratings.
“Our mortality rates have significantly improved, as have hospital acquired infection rates. In addition, we have opened many new facilities, including a new 28-bedded ward and a state-of-the-art midwifery-led-unit.”
Patrick Crowley, chief executive of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, added: “I would like to thank Richard for all he has done to improve Scarborough’s performance and I wish him every success for the future.
“This is a significant step towards becoming one organisation, and will enable us to continue with our collaborative efforts to shape services in North and East Yorkshire.
“We will be attending a number of public meetings over the coming months and are looking forward to the opportunity to hear people’s views and begin to share our plans for the future.
“In the meantime Mike will be helping to further develop the relationship between the two hospitals and importantly ensure that consultants and clinical teams on both sites, together with colleagues in primary care and community services, are able to contribute to how we influence future services.”
In November Scarborough trust approached York about the possibility of forming a partnership, as it was considered unlikely the Scarborough would meet Government requirements on its own.
York has now formally accepted the request and negotiations about how the link-up will work are ongoing.
Scarborough trust has appointed an interim director of nursing, Nicki McNaney, whilst current director of nursing Teresa Fenech takes up a new role as integration lead.
Ms Fenech will be working with both Scarborough and York trusts to head up the partnership project.