Chief Executive of Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust to stand down

4 July 2018, 13:09 | Updated: 4 July 2018, 13:12

Royal Cornwall Hospital

Kathy Byrne is to stand down as chief executive of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust.

She has been in the role for the past two and a half years. 

The Trust have released the following statement: 

''The Trust has faced a number of challenges over a very long time. Not long after I was appointed it was put into ‘special measures’. The staff have worked tirelessly since then on the huge job of making the necessary improvements. Over the past couple of years I have recruited a completely new leadership team and have significantly improved relationships with the wider health and care system so that all of our partner organisations are now working much more effectively together for the citizens of Cornwall. 

''We have made a lot of improvements and have been able to turn around our response times, particularly for urgent and emergency care, and we are now turning our attention to planned elective care. I am confident that we have put in place the foundations for the Trust to move out of special measures and so I believe this is a good time for me to hand over to a new chief executive who can build on the work that has been done since I have been here.'' 

Before joining the NHS Kathy Byrne had a distinguished career as a health service Chief Executive in Australia. She was previously head of Health Support Queensland and Deputy Director General at the Queensland Department of Health. 

When Kathy leaves the Trust she will be spending some time working on a major research project about communications and engagement in the NHS. 

''I have really enjoyed my time in Cornwall,'' said Kathy Byrne,''It is a wonderful county with some truly fantastic people. It has been a great privilege to work here. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the hard working staff of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust. Their devotion to duty and thoroughly caring approach is an inspiration. I would also like to thank members of the Trust board for their steadfast backing during my period in Cornwall and my colleagues in the wider health and care system for their encouragement and collaborative support.'' 

Dr Mairi McLean, Acting Chair of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust said, ''Kathy has gained much credibility and respect both within the local health system and in the Trust where she has tackled some longstanding areas that needed improvement. She acknowledges areas of good practice and helps staff and managers to celebrate improvement and excellence. She leaves with the board’s thanks and very best wishes.'' 

There will be an announcement about Kathy Byrne’s replacement in due course.