Former nurse Matthew Hopkins has announced he is stepping down as chief executive of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust after four years in post.
Under his leadership, the trust moved out of the Care Quality Commission’s “special measures” regime in March 2017 after three years.
“It is now time for someone else to take the helm and move us out of financial special measures”
Overall, it is currently rated by the CQC as “requires improvement”. However, it was placed in financial special measures by fellow regulator NHS Improvement in February this year.
Starting his career as a nurse, Mr Hopkins trained at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge before spending five years as a Macmillan nurse.
He was appointed as chief executive in April 2014. Prior to joining, he was chief executive at Epsom St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust for three years.
He has also worked at a number of London teaching hospitals including Guy’s and St Thomas’, Imperial, Barts and the Royal London.
Commenting on his decision to leave, Mr Hopkins drew attention to recent health problems that he had experienced, as well as the trust’s difficult financial position.
“Our trust and the local health economy have faced financial challenges for more than a decade and when I returned to work last year after a kidney transplant further serious issues emerged,” he said.
“I have agreed with our chair, Joe Fielder, that it is now time for someone else to take the helm and move us out of financial special measures and for me to seek new opportunities,” said Mr Hopkins.
“I’ve worked alongside some of the best clinicians, nurses, support staff and patients to improve quality, performance and the way we work,” he said. “I now regard many of them as my friends.
Mr Hopkins said: “I am truly proud that we’ve faced head on – through perseverance and sheer tenacity – some difficult issues and we’ve made huge progress.
“I am also pleased that our 6,500-strong workforce now feel proud and confident and are constantly striving to improve care for the benefit of our patients,” he added.
“I would like to pay tribute to Matthew who has dedicated his career to public service”
Trust chair Joe Fielder said: “I would like to pay tribute to Matthew who has dedicated his career to public service.
“The improvements in quality we are proud of are due in no small measure to Matthew’s stewardship,” said Mr Fielder.
“He is a visible, approachable leader who has fostered a culture where people are actively encouraged to speak up,” he added.