Dr George Findlay to be new Chief Executive

University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust has a new Chief Executive.

The Trust’s Council of Governors  confirmed the appointment of Dr George Findlay in the role.

He will succeed Dame Marianne Griffiths, who is retiring after almost 14 years in charge across UHSussex and its predecessor organisations Western Sussex Hospitals (WSHT) and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH).

Dr Findlay has been interim Chief Executive at Medway NHS Foundation Trust since May 2021.

But he is also a familiar and popular face at UHSussex too.

Before joining Medway, Dr Findlay spent seven years at Western Sussex Hospitals (WSHT) in roles including Medical Director, Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Chief Executive.

During that time, he played a key role in WSHT’s leadership support for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH), which helped the Trust become the fastest improving in England.

He was also central to WSHT and BSUH’s co-ordinated response to the Covid-19 pandemic and developing their case for merger.

UHSussex Chair Alan McCarthy said of Dr Findlay’s appointment: “The chief executive role attracted a range of highly-qualified candidates but George stood out, not just for his experience and achievements, but also for his ambitions for UHSussex and the approach he proposed for realising them.

“George’s knowledge of our hospitals, the communities we serve and the challenges we face will be invaluable in helping us maintain the record of improvement established under Marianne’s leadership.

“He has also been able to implement his own ideas to bring about some impressive rapid improvements at Medway. That experience will give him a valuable new perspective to bring to our own Patient First improvement model too.”

He added: “I would also like to thank our partners from the Sussex Integrated Care System and NHSEI for their input into the selection process, and also to everyone in our hospitals who joined stakeholder panels or contributed to the early engagement work we did to understand the sort of leader we wanted for our Trust.”

Current Chief Executive Dame Marianne Griffiths said of her successor: “Retiring from our hospitals will be a real wrench for me but this is the right moment to step aside and George is absolutely the right person to hand the baton to.

“We have created a strong new Trust through our merger and are setting course for a bright future, including a clear vision of the further improvements we want to make for our patients as part of the new integrated care system for Sussex.

“I have every confidence in George and his executive team to lead our fantastic people on the next stage of this journey and keep on improving services for our patients.”

Dr Findlay is an intensive care consultant and a respected NHS leader with a long record of improvement in healthcare.

He advised the Welsh Government on its historic introduction of ‘presumed consent’ legislation on organ donation and transplantation, and previously led a National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death that shaped policy and standards over more than 10 years.

He said of his appointment: “I’m really pleased to be coming back to Sussex and looking forward to working with everyone to build on the improvements we made before the pandemic.

“There’s never been a more challenging time in the NHS but I know we have the people, commitment and ingenuity we need to come through it stronger than ever.”

Dr Findlay will join UHSussex as soon as is practically possible, following Dame Marianne’s retirement from the Trust.

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