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Chief executive leaves Trust after four years

Aidan Thomas, after four years as CEO of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, has today announced his resignation.

Aidan, who was instrumental in the successful merger between the mental health Trusts in Norfolk and Suffolk has led the organisation from strength to strength since his arrival in 2009. Aidan indicated his wish to move on several months ago but remained in post to support the new Chair and complete the Trust Service Strategy consultation.

Aidan believes that having steered the Trust towards a new model of care for mental health services; now is the right time to step aside and make way for a new leader to bring fresh energy and innovation to carry forward the programme of change.

Aidan Thomas said: “I have been considering my future since the merger. It is not a decision I have found easy because I feel very privileged and proud to have been the Chief Executive of such a great Trust and to have met so many brilliant and committed staff and colleagues. I’ve decided that having led the negotiation and external consultation on our Service Strategy, now would be the right time to step aside and let someone else lead the Trust through the changes over the coming years.

Those who have worked with me know that I wouldn’t ever want to give less than a 100% in any role, and Norfolk and Suffolk Trust and our new Chair deserve this however I do believe my style of management is better suited to a smaller organisation. In addition, I have struggled with the regular commute from my Essex home.”

Chair Gary Page added: “Aidan told me before I applied for the role of Chair that he was considering his future. Whilst I am genuinely sorry to see Aidan go I fully respect and understand his reasons for doing so. He has transformed the Trust and succeeded in building on our foundations of excellent care to bring growth and competitiveness as well as strengthening our external relationships.

“The Trust, partly through Aidan’s leadership, is well prepared to deal with the challenges ahead and while there is never a good time to lose such a good CEO, we are in a position of relative strength, and we wish him well with whatever he chooses to do in the future.

“We will start the search for a successor after the summer months, however in the meantime I have every confidence in Andrew Hopkins who as Deputy CEO will take over from Aidan on an acting basis with effect from July 1.”