A Brighton woman has been chosen to be the new chief executive of the £200 million-a-year community health trust that serves the local area.
Siobhan Melia, 42, is currently the deputy chief executive of the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and director of partnerships and commercial development.
She has been promoted to the top job three years after she joined from phone company Telefonica where she headed the health division.
She has almost 20 years’ experience in the NHS as a clinician – she started off as a podiatrist – as well as a senior manager and board member.
She replaces Paula Head who has been appointed chief executive of the Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Sussex Community Trust said that a handover period had already begun to ensure a seamless transition before Siobhan takes up the role on Thursday 1 September.
The trust employs more than 4,600 staff including health visitors, school nurses, community nurses and reablement and occupational therapists. It also funds health promotion and wellbeing and care for people with long-term conditions and at the end of their lives.
The trust said: “Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust is delighted to announce the appointment of Siobhan Melia as its new chief executive.
“She has been an instrumental part of the organisation’s development in recent years through a period in which it achieved a CQC ‘good’ rating and was authorised as a foundation trust.
“The appointment was made following a rigorous process involving a high-quality field of external candidates.
“Siobhan impressed the recruitment panel with her exceptional leadership experience, track record of delivery and vision for the future of the organisation.”
Sue Sjuve, who chairs the trust board, said: “I can think of no one better to lead the trust. Siobhan is the exceptional chief executive we were looking for to take us to the next level.
“She brings a breadth of experience and expertise and a vision for the organisation which aims to unlock the skills, energy and commitment of our frontline staff to allow them to make decisions locally and build high-quality, sustainable services.
“It is a bonus that she already knows the organisation well and will be able to hit the ground running.”
Siobhan Melia said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead such a fantastic organisation.
“It is a genuine privilege to work with such a committed team and my immediate priority is to be as visible as possible so that I can listen directly to our teams.
“I want to hear about what we can improve upon so that we can work together to make change happen.
“We have a fantastic platform to build on and our staff have already helped us to achieve CQC ‘good’ and foundation trust status. Now we can move forward in our ambition to become an ‘outstanding’ trust.
“We will achieve this by creating an environment where people thrive, introducing a bold approach of local decision-making which continually improves outcomes for patients.
“My job is also to ensure we work effectively with our partners and stakeholders across the system.
“I will be a passionate advocate for community services which need to be front and centre if we are going to meet the challenges we face in the NHS and social care.”
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