PRESS RELEASEIssue date: Monday 27 July 2015

Guy’s and St Thomas’ plans transition to new Chief Executive

Trust Chairman, Sir Hugh Taylor, has announced today (Monday 27 July) that Sir Ron Kerr will be stepping down from his role as Chief Executive of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust on 1 October 2015.

Ron has decided to step down from the role of Chief Executive after 30 years in senior NHS leadership roles as he wishes to reduce his working commitments, while also enabling a smooth transition to his successor.

Ron joined the National Health Service in 1971. During a long and distinguished career, he has held a wide range of Chief Executive posts.

These have included District General Manager of North Hertfordshire Health Authority, Chief Executive of South East London Commissioning Agency, Regional General Manager of North West and North Thames Regional Health Authorities, Director of Operations for the NHS Executive, Chief Executive of the National Care Standards Commission, and Chief Executive of United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust.

Ron joined Guy’s and St Thomas’ as Chief Executive in 2007 and received a Knighthood in the Queen’s New Year Honours in December 2010 in recognition of his services to the NHS.

He has held numerous national appointments, including Chair of the Association of UK University Hospitals and, more recently, Chair of the Shelford Group of leading teaching hospitals.

Sir Hugh Taylor says: “The Trust has gone from strength to strength under Ron's wise and visionary leadership. Ron has done an outstanding job as Chief Executive, for which we are immensely grateful, and we have been very fortunate to benefit from his lifelong commitment to healthcare and the NHS at both a national and local level.

"To maintain stability and ensure a smooth transition to a new Chief Executive, I am delighted that Ron has agreed to stay on in the Trust until 31 March 2016. This will allow us to benefit from his leadership and guidance at a time of unprecedented change and operational pressure across the NHS and public services."

Sir Ron Kerr says: “This has been a very difficult decision for me personally as my commitment to Guy’s and St Thomas’, and to the wider NHS, is as strong today as when I took up my first NHS job more than 40 years ago.

“My immediate focus is to ensure a fully planned and well managed transition to a new Chief Executive who can take over the leadership of this incredible organisation.

“Beyond my current role, it is my intention to maintain an active involvement in healthcare issues. I feel hugely privileged to have worked with so many talented and dedicated colleagues over the years, and wish to continue to do so in the future as new opportunities arise.”

Ron will step down from his full-time role as Chief Executive and Accountable Officer with effect from 1 October. From 1 October until a substantive Chief Executive is appointed, the following arrangements will take effect:

Amanda Pritchard, currently Chief Operating Officer, will become Acting Chief Executive and Accountable Officer.

Ron Kerr will remain on the Board, in an interim part-time role, as Executive Vice Chairman, and will work alongside the Acting Chief Executive. He will take lead responsibility for external relations, including his current roles within King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre and Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care (SLIC), and will also continue with his many other external commitments on behalf of the Trust.

Dr Simon Steddon will resume his role as Acting Chief Operating Officer, which he undertook during Amanda Pritchard's recent maternity leave.

The role of Chief Executive will be advertised in October.

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Note to editors:

  1. Contact: Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust tel:020 7188 5577 ore-mail: . Out of hours, please call our pager bureau on 0844 822 2888, ask for pager number 847704 and give the pager operator your message.
  1. Guy's and St Thomas' provides more than 2 million patient contacts in acute and specialist hospital services and community services every year. As one of the biggest NHS trusts in the UK, with an annual turnover of more than £1.3 billion, we employ around 13,650 staff.
  1. Guy’s and St Thomas’ is part of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC), a collaboration between King’s College London, and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts.