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Former cancer nurse to lead trust on Essex-London border

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A former nurse has been appointed chief executive at troubled Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust.

Matthew Hopkins, who is currently chief executive of Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust, will start his new job on 1 April.

He replaces Averil Dongworth, who is retiring at the end of this month.

Mr Hopkins’ appointment comes at a critical time for the trust, which was placed into special measures in December last year, and against the backdrop of a tough year for nurses turned chief executives.

Matthew Hopkins

Matthew Hopkins

The past 12 months have seen the suspension of Paula Vasco-Knight at South Devon Healthcare Foundation Trust and Caroline Shaw at The Christie Foundation Trust.

Meanwhile, Maggie Boyle at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust and Lorene Reed at Kettering General Hospital Foundation Trust stepped down over performance issues.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge, which runs Queen’s Hospital and King George Hospital, was placed into special measure following a CQC report that identified ongoing concerns about the quality of care, especially in its A&E departments.

“I am passionate about high quality, compassionate care and staff engagement”

Matthew Hopkins

However, Mr Hopkins said he was “looking forward” to his challenging new role.

He has led Epsom and St Helier for three years, overseeing significant improvements in performance, and worked at a number of other London teaching hospitals including Guy’s and St Thomas’, Imperial, and Barts and The London

His career in nursing saw him spend five years as a Macmillan nurse after training at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

“I am looking forward to playing a part in further improving the care the trust is providing,” he said.

“I am passionate about high quality, compassionate care and staff engagement and I look forward to working with the team at Barking, Havering and Redbridge to ensure that every patient receives great care every day.”

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