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Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Trust secures World Class Leader for Worcestershire

Friday 9 December 2016

Michelle McKay

Caragh Merrick Chairman of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“Following the interview process to recruit a permanent chief executive, I am delighted to announce that we have appointed Michelle McKay to the position. Michelle is working her notice with her current employer and will be joining us in March 2017.

“To manage the transition period and ensure a smooth handover I have asked Rob Cooper, currently Director of Financial Improvement,  to take on the role as acting chief executive/accountable officer with immediate effect, and he will continue in post until Michelle joins us.

“This is another important milestone in moving to a permanent leadership team and this appointment means that we will start to see the benefits of stability that patients, public, staff and our stakeholders have been calling for.

“A stable, permanent leadership team is also an essential stepping stone in meeting our aspiration of being rated as “outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.

“During the recruitment process I was determined to ensure that we attracted the very best candidates and we were able to shortlist an impressive field. However it is fair to say that some very experienced candidates were put off by the challenging circumstances, including our financial position and the fact that we are a Trust in special measures. But we did attract some excellent national and international candidates and Michelle brings the experience, enthusiasm and determination that we need.

“When I was appointed as Chairman I said ‘Worcestershire deserves the best” and this appointment meets that test.

“Michelle has committed her long term career future to Worcestershire and will be relocating with her husband and making Worcestershire their home.

“I would like to thank Chris Tidman for his commitment, dedication and resilience over the last 20 months as Interim chief executive and join our staff and stakeholders in wishing him well in his secondment to NHS Improvement.

Michelle McKay said:

“I am delighted to have been appointed to this role and have already been encouraged by the enthusiasm and support of the people I have met. Worcestershire deserves great health services and I look forward to working with the staff and our stakeholders to drive forward an improvement programme to deliver the very best acute hospital care possible.”

Rob Cooper acting Chief Executive said:

“My role will be to provide day to day leadership in partnership with Michelle and ensure that the transition period does not adversely impact the services we provide. I will also start preparing the ground for the future”


Note to editors

Michelle McKay has a clinical background as an emergency nurse. During her clinical career she managed Emergency Departments, has been an educator of staff, and is a published researcher in the field. 

Over the last 15 years, she has held a range of Executive positions within the health system in Australia.  She has managed acute health services, including a District of 17 geographically dispersed hospitals across Southern Queensland and a large tertiary hospital in Adelaide, South Australia.  She was the Executive Director of Performance and Planning of a very large health service in Australia that had a budget of $2.8B and for the last four years has worked in the not for profit sector in social care, leading services within regional Queensland and the Northern Territory, including approximately 2400 residential aged care beds, 60 community service centres and 1000 home care packages, with a staff of approximately 5000.

Michelle is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Queensland, has post graduate qualifications in Health Management and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Rob Cooper is an experienced NHS Trust Board Member with strong experience of successfully improving service and financial performance overseen improvement work which has reduced the Trust's deficit by £25m - from a deficit of £59.9m in 2015/16 to a forecast deficit of £35m this year.

Page last updated: 09 December 2016