A Nottingham MP has wished the city’s departing hospital chief executive a speedy recovery after she stepped down following a serious case of Covid, saying her condition is a “sobering reminder” of the burden of the virus on the NHS.
Tracy Taylor confirmed this week she is leaving the role of chief executive of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) following a months-long battle with the virus.
The trust says Ms Taylor has been “very unwell” since July, when she first tested positive for Covid, and has not been in an active role since her diagnosis.
She left the role on Monday 4 October . The trust is launching a recruitment process for a new chief executive.
Speaking following the announcement, Alex Norris MP (Lab), who represents Nottingham North, sent his best wishes to the departing Ms Taylor.
He said: “[Tracy’s departure] is a sobering reminder of the impact Covid has had and is continuing to have on peoples’ lives.
“This is especially the case for our really brave health and social care staff, so we wish Tracy the best with her recovery.
“This is now the moment for new leadership at the trust, so we look forward to them getting a new leader.
“We need the best hospital services in our community. Nottingham is one of the best jobs in the country and I think the person we get will be one of the very best.”
Issuing a statement to NUH staff, the outgoing chief executive said it was “unlikely” she would be well enough to return to work in the coming months.
“In light of this, I have made the difficult decision to step down from my role as chief executive, in order to focus on my recovery and getting well again,” Ms Taylor added.
“It has been an honour being your chief executive for the last three-and-a-half years, and during that time it has been a pleasure to meet and work with some incredible people.”
Speaking following the announcement, Eric Morton, NUH trust chairman, added: “I would like to thank Tracy for her dedication and commitment to Nottingham University Hospitals over the last few years and for her contributions, not only to our organisation but to the wider Nottinghamshire healthcare system.”
He added chief financial officer, Rupert Egginton, will continue as acting chief executive.
Ms Taylor’s departure comes at a time the trust is facing serious scrutiny from inspectors over how it is run. A report from healthcare watchdog Care Quality Commission (CQC) viewed its leadership as “inadequate”.
The trust was told it ‘requires improvement’ overall, with the CQC finding a “culture of bullying” throughout the organisation when inspectors visited earlier this year.
The trust confirmed last week action is under way to address issues raised in the report.
Engagement events have already been held with staff to hear stories and concerns, with this to continue while senior leaders gain a “wider picture” of issues around leadership and bullying.
The CQC said the trust – which runs Queen’s Medical Centre and City Hospital – continues to provide “outstanding” care.