New Vic chief takes charge

Wendy Swift
Wendy Swift
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A new hospital chief has admitted she has taken over the running of Blackpool Victoria Hospital at an “extremely challenging time”.

Wendy Swift has taken the reins as interim Chief Executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust after Gary Doherty quit for a new job.

I feel very privileged to have been asked to lead the Trust

She said: “I feel very privileged to have been asked to lead the Trust.

“It is an extremely challenging time but also an exciting one as we look to work ever more closely with our staff, our partners and the public to provide the best care possible for patients.”

She is taking over as the Trust faces an expected budget deficit of £11m – more than twice the £5m loss of 2014. The Vic also saw £20m shaved off its budget inn 2015.

The Gazette also reported last month how some patients were left waiting for up to eight hours to be treated at Accident and Emergency with medics working through their breaks to clear the backlog.

Wendy is currently the Trust’s Deputy Chief Executive and has 19 years’ experience at a senior level on the Fylde Coast, which has included the roles of Deputy Chief Executive of the former Blackpool Wyre and Fylde Community Trust and the Chief Executive of the former Blackpool Primary Care Trust.

She has worked in the NHS for more than 35 years in Lancashire.

Trust Chairman, Ian Johnson, said: “We are delighted to be able to have someone with the experience and knowledge of the local health economy like Wendy to take over.

“Wendy is a highly respected person in the community and in the Trust and she will ensure there is continuity at a vital time for the organisation as it looks to launch its new strategic five-year plan later this year.’

Mr Doherty will start his new role as Chief Executive at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board on February 29.

Mr Johnson added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gary for his contribution to the Trust during the last three years.

“We will be fully supporting the interim leadership team during the forthcoming financial year.”