New interim joint Chief Executive of both Poole Hospital and The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals appointed


Debbie Fleming has been appointed as interim joint Chief Executive of both Poole Hospital and The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (RBCH). In addition, the current RBCH Chair, David Moss, has been appointed interim joint Chair of both RBCH and Poole Hospital.

The appointments have been made after an independently led selection process and have formally been approved by both Trusts. The decision to create both posts has been made to assist in the creation of the major planned and a major emergency hospital site for east Dorset and to assist in the transition towards potential merger. The appointments have been supported by both NHS Improvement (NHSI) and the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA).

Debbie Fleming

Debbie Fleming

Debbie Fleming has been Chief Executive of Poole Hospital since April 2014 and has over 30 years’ experience in the NHS. She joined Poole Hospital from NHS England, where she served as Area Director for Wessex, and has also held a variety of other senior posts within the NHS including more than a decade in chief executive roles at Bournemouth and Poole and Hampshire primary care trusts. She began her NHS management career at Poole Hospital and enjoyed ten years as the Trust’s general manager for medicine during the 1990s.

Speaking about her appointment, Debbie Fleming said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed interim joint Chief Executive. Both trusts have a long track record of providing outstanding care, and both are highly valued by local people. I shall be proud to work with staff, clinicians, governors and members across the two organisations, as we move towards merger and take forward our significant capital programme. I’m also really pleased to be continuing to work with local partners and stakeholders, in implementing the wider Dorset transformation plan.

“Our hospitals all have an exciting, positive future – all will continue to be places that patients want to come to for treatment, and places where staff want to come to work.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Tony Spotswood, RBCH’s outgoing Chief Executive, who has made such a significant contribution to improving local health services over many years.”

David Moss has been Chair of The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust since March 2017 and has extensive experience of health services locally. He was Chief Executive of Poole Hospital from 1985-1988 and Chief Executive of Southampton University Hospitals Trust from 1988-2004 where he oversaw the transformation and merger of 10 hospitals into one trust. He has also been Deputy Director of Human Resources for the NHS, interim Chief Executive of The Royal College of Physicians and has extensive non-executive experience.

David said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for our local health services. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create the services that will not only improve outcomes for patients, but will also ensure a sustainable future by enabling the best use of all our resources. I’m excited by the challenge ahead and look forward to working closely with Debbie and our colleagues across the trusts as we implement the Clinical Services Review and work towards full merger.”

Paula Shobbrook, Director of Nursing and Midwifery and Deputy CEO at RBCH, said: “The appointment of a joint chair and chief executive demonstrates clear support from our regulators for both trusts to continue to work towards merger. Both Debbie and David have in-depth understanding and experience of our local health services, so will be a great team to take us forward and manage this transition.”

The new arrangements will be in place from 1 January 2019.


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