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Island nursing director leaves among raft of leadership changes

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The director of nursing at Isle of Wight NHS Trust has left the role amid a series of changes in senior leadership at the struggling organisation.

Alan Sheward, who was appointed director of nursing and quality in May 2015, left the trust last week to take up another role in the NHS, it has been confirmed.

“We can confirm that there have been changes to the senior leadership team”

Trust spokesman

Trust managers told staff they would be advertising for a new director of nursing shortly and in the meantime deputy director of nursing Sarah Johnston would step up as acting director.

In a communication to staff, trust managers wished Mr Sheward well in his new job and future career. However, the trust told Nursing Times it was not willing to comment further on his departure.

“We can confirm that there have been changes to the senior leadership team. However, we do not intend to make any further comment on matters affecting individual members of staff,” said a trust spokesman.

Nursing Times understands Mr Sheward has left to take up a post at a trust in Yorkshire, where he is working on the development and roll-out of integrated patient records and digital care.

According to Mr Sheward’s profile on professional networking site LinkedIn, he is now working at Airedale Foundation NHS Trust.

His departure from the Isle of Wight comes amid a period of flux in senior leadership at the trust, which was placed in special measures in April after being rated “inadequate” overall by the Care Quality Commission.

In May, experienced health service troubleshooter Maggie Oldham, a nurse by background, was brought in as interim chief executive, having previously overseen improvements drives at the former Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and other organisations.

The island-based trust has said it intended to appoint a permanent chief executive in September and, once that appointment was made, would then interview for a new permanent director of nursing.

In recent weeks, Frank Sims took up the post of interim deputy chief executive. He was previously the chief executive of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust before being seconded to NHS Improvement.

The trust is also being supported by senior nurse and turnaround expert Barbara Stuttle.

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Alan Sheward

Other changes include the fact trust chair Eve Richardson is to step down in the autumn. It was announced last month that she was leaving to become independent chair of local health and care watchdog the Isle of Wight Stakeholder Reference Group.

The trust spokesman added: “With the support of NHS Improvement, we have a number of people working with us for a short time and who bring experience and expertise in a number of areas within leadership, mental health and nursing.”

While the trust is currently judged “good” for caring by the CQC it is rated “inadequate” for safety, responsiveness and leadership, and “requires improvement” for effectiveness.

However, the trust board has set an ambition of being rated “good” overall by 2020.

Measures set out in the trust’s quality improvement plan, published in June, include increasing the overall number of qualified nurses and reducing spend on agency staff.

The plan also included an urgent review of nurse staffing arrangements in children’s emergency care. Meanwhile, a new IT system for district nurses should be in place by the end of this year.

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