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Chief nurse and chief exec resign at country’s largest trust

  • 15 Comments

Both the chief nurse and chief executive of Barts Health NHS Trust in east London have announced their resignation today.

Professor Kay Riley has announced that she will leave the trust this month and retire at the end of October, after a 30 year nursing career.

In addition, Peter Morris has announced his departure after six years as chief executive of the trust.

A trust statement said he had agreed to continue in his role while the selection process for a replacement is undertaken.

“It has been a privilege and a pleasure to use the opportunity given to me as chief nurse to take forward and develop the ethos of innovative and compassionate nursing”

Kay Riley

With a turnover of £1.25bn and a workforce of 14,000, Barts Health NHS Trust is the largest health service trust in the country. However, it is struggling on both finance and performance.

At its last board meeting, held earlier this month, the trust announced its planned deficit had more than doubled from £44m to £93m.

In addition, a report from the Royal College of Nursing, also published earlier this month, highlighted Barts as the biggest spender on agency nurses.

Meanwhile, the trust is awaiting the publication of two Care Quality Commission reports which are expected to criticise the trust’s culture.

The trust also has significant performance problems, failing the four-hour accident and emergency waiting target and recording a 12-hour “trolley breach” wait in January.

Professor Riley has spent the last eight years as chief nurse at Barts and The London NHS Trust and more recently, following various mergers, under its new name Barts Health NHS Trust.

In the period up to her retirement, Professor Riley will join Health Education North West London and “pass on her wealth of experience to the next generation of nurses”, said a statement from the trust.

Barts

Kay Riley

Professor Riley added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Barts.

“Having joined an institution with such a proud and distinguished history in the development of nursing dating back centuries, it has been a privilege and a pleasure to use the opportunity given to me as chief nurse to take forward and develop the ethos of innovative and compassionate nursing,” she said.

Trust chair Sir Stephen O’Brien said: “I would like to thank Kay for the significant contribution she has made to Barts Health and for the nursing leadership she has provided both locally and at a regional and national level. We wish her well for the future.”

Barts Health was created in 2012 from the merger of Barts and the London trusts, Whipps Cross University Hospital and Newham University Hospital.

When they were dissolved as separate organisations, Whipps Cross had a deficit of £6m, Newham a deficit of £0.2m, and Barts and the London a surplus of £2.6m.

  • 15 Comments

Readers' comments (15)

  • I worked at Barts health, I resigned because these two failed to respect nursing, failed to protect nurses failed to protect nursing standards and allowed managers to bully and harass anyone who couldn't safe money, it's shameful that this article gives them credibility.

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  • That is so sad - I seem to read this type of story for many many Trusts.

    I think that the nursing profession - at the senior level seems to have a strong cohort of nurses who have utterly let down the values and principles of nursing. I would include the Head of the RCN in all Nations and CEO, all the Chief Nursing Officers and all the registrant members of the NMC over the past 25 years. There are exceptions obviously and I know some of these pioneers but it is rare that the above mentioned listen to these pioneers.
    The public have been totally let down by the nursing profession too focussed on their own role and power base and not enough on compassion and quality of care for the public and with the public.

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  • I took early retirement a couple ago from a senior nursing role because of the attitude of our Chief Nurse. I always tried to protect nursing and improve care for patients but it became more and more difficult to do so in an environment where politics and power ruled! I was very sad that those in a more senior position cared more about their status and power but I am sure they did not start their careers like that. We do need to reverse these attitudes and expectations somehow.

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  • Anonymous | 20-Feb-2015 9:25 am

    I had a long and happy career in a European hospital from 1980 to the mid-90s working as a front line nurse in collegial multidisciplinary teams where everything was openly discussed without fear or ridicule (it was just something taken for granted and despite very different training backgrounds, language as mother tongue and culture) and never witnessed the attitudes one now hears reported in the NHS which make me very sad in the institution where I trained, worked post reg, and more or less breathed, ate and slept having been brought up in a medical household pre the 'general management' era and through the first decade of changes it brought about.

    in the mid-90s I read for an MSc in Healthcare management and was very interested in the module on organisational behaviour/psychology. all of what one now reads is totally against all principles taught, much based on the very best and most recent theories including those from Harvard (and the ideal world) so I do not understand how these toxic attitudes and environment arise (maybe an interesting topic for further research) where there should be a common shared and motivated interest for all staff focussing on the needs of the patients and the wellbeing of the workforce looking after them.

    we were taught, and it was frequently and strongly emphasised, that the personnel is the most costly and valuable asset in the organisation. what has gone wrong and how can it be addressed? I would have suggested adequate leadership training for all in these positions but I imagine they all go through this training already and somehow something for some reason it all goes very wrong afterwards once they are out in the real world.

    I believe management and leadership training and theory is of benefit to any worker who if they cannot achieve leadership from the top down they can push hard from the bottom up and lead by the best possible example. if enough can achieve this it should really work!

    I would love, like others who have worked in different environments, shared some of my experiences with the NHS on how to treat and retain their staff, but quickly discovered they have their heads firmly buried in the sand and simply do not wish to know!

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  • Leadership and engagement for improvement in the nhs Together we can
    Report from The King’s Fund Leadership Review 2012

    Refers. From commentator above

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  • That is so sad - I seem to read this type of story for many many Trusts.

    I think that the nursing profession - at the senior level seems to have a strong cohort of nurses who have utterly let down the values and principles of nursing. I would include the Head of the RCN in all Nations and CEO, all the Chief Nursing Officers and all the registrant members of the NMC over the past 25 years. There are exceptions obviously and I know some of these pioneers but it is rare that the above mentioned listen to these pioneers.
    The public have been totally let down by the nursing profession too focussed on their own role and power base and not enough on compassion and quality of care for the public and with the public.

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  • The nhs has all the potential of a first class organisation if only every one would follow the core principles of their respective professions and pull their weight. There are also some sound and excellent management theories out there. Why can't they be put into practice?

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  • That's how they called leadership in NHS: failure both financially and clinically. solutions: resign and walk away with huge salary and massive pension leaving bread earners struggling in frontlines.

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  • Power corrupts. Nursing is a hierarchy, power coming from the top down. Systemic failures. Change the system, listen to the workers, let us make decisions! We are patient advocates after all. Wherever there is a group of nurses working together they should have a say in the running of their department. At present ALL decisions are top down from the government. Either based on saving money or "looking good" - by latching on to the latest medical hot topic. At the moment the Cameron wants to educate all nurses on dementia. HOT TOPIC! What a coincidence.

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  • Biggest Trust? 14,000 staff? Pffft! Leeds and Sheffield are bigger. Lazy journalism - come up North.... its great :)

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