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Hospital Trust Welcomes New Chief Executive

James Sumner

12 August 2019

The new leader of Crewe's Leighton Hospital has outlined partnership working and an improved offer for staff among his priorities. 

James Sumner, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the NHS, started as Chief Executive of Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on 29 July.

Speaking about his first days at the Trust, James said: “I’ve already been hugely impressed by the staff. There is a great team of people here, and the current Board should be congratulated on what they’ve achieved with regard to the Leighton Hospital site which has seen significant improvements and upgrades over recent years, but there’s still more we want to do so that will be one of my focuses.”

James joined the NHS in 1999, initially working in primary care before moving on to several regional quality improvement roles. He moved into the acute sector in 2005 and has held a number of operational and strategic roles since, including Deputy Chief Executive at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust.

In 2016 James became Chief Officer of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, part of an emerging large group of NHS organisations.

At Salford, James was accountable for an integrated care organisation that brings together health and social care across the city. He now intends to bring more of this partnership working to Cheshire.

James said: “I have already had some good early meetings with health system partners and other Chief Executives from across Cheshire to think about how we’re going to work even closer together to bring benefit for local people through improved services.

“I have a real interest in how we work deeper into communities and I think our Central Cheshire Integrated Care Partnership, which provides local community health services in partnership with local GPs and the Mental Health Trust, is a fantastic example that we need to build upon."

“There are also a lot of exciting things we’ll want to do over the next year or two around improving the offer for our staff, as well as how we can attract more staff to the area. I think the organisation is going to get busier and busier over the next five to ten years and so we need to plan for that.”

As Chief Executive of Mid Cheshire Hospitals, James will oversee Leighton Hospital, Victoria Infirmary in Northwich and Elmhurst Intermediate Care Centre in Winsford.

He replaces Dr Paul Dodds, who acted as Interim Chief Executive following Tracy Bullock’s move to University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust earlier in the year.