Susan Acott switches from Dartford & Gravesham NHS to become interim CEO at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

11th October 2017

Experienced executive will take on the role until the end of March 2018

Susan Acott has been named interim chief executive of the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust – heading up the organisation that runs east Kent hospitals on secondment from another Kent trust.

Currently the chief executive of the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, a role she had held for eight years, she will replace, temporarily at least, the role vacated by Matthew Kershaw who quit last month.

East Kent Hospitals runs the Kent & Canterbury, William Harvey and QEQM hospitals, plus sites in Folkestone and Dover.

She said: “I look forward to working with staff, patients and the communities the trust serves to further progress the trust’s work to provide excellent hospital services for local people and further strengthen the close working between the NHS organisations in Kent.”

She has worked at the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust for the last eight years – which runs the Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford.

She has previously held senior positions in the NHS in Manchester, Merseyside, York and London and is rated as one of the Health Service Journal’s top 50 chief executives.

Her expertise will certainly be needed. East Kent has faced a barrage of criticism over its handling of its sites – in particular the Kent & Canterbury Hospital.

She will assume the role of CEO until March 31, 2018, during which time the trust will “conduct a robust recruitment and selection process for the permanent role”.

Gerard Sammon, Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust’s director of strategy and planning, will become the interim chief executive at Dartford.

Trust chair Nikki Cole, said: “Susan’s leadership experience of a career across the NHS, combined with extensive knowledge of local healthcare needs, will help the trust build on the improvements it has already made and will provide stable leadership while the trust works to recruit a permanent chief executive.”

She will take over the role on October 16 and return to the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust at the end of her secondment.