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New Mental Health Trust CEO appointed

Norfolk’s mental health trust CEO Aidan Thomas has been appointed as Chief Executive
Designate to lead the proposed merger between the Norfolk and Suffolk mental health trusts.

Aidan Thomas, who has been the CEO at Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (NWMHFT) since 2009, was successful at interview yesterday.

Aidan said: ‘”It is an honour to be leading the trusts through this exciting phase and I am looking forward to the coming months as we work toward a merger with Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust.

“The combined Trust will bring best practice from each organisation, ensuring improvements in clinical care with greater choice for service users along with a more efficient and effective

Aidan thanked Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (SMHPT) Chief Executive Officer
Mark Halladay for his strong support and looked forward to working collaboratively with him on the merger proposal. Mr Halladay, who initially proposed the merger, announced this week he would not pursue the Norwich-based role but would remain as CEO at Suffolk until the merger date.

Mark spoke warmly of the appointment.

“Suffolk Mental Health services have come a long way in the last few years, but we knew we needed a partner in the longer term. I am delighted that Norfolk and Waveney have proved so true a partner in our merger talks. I know Aidan well and am delighted that both counties will have such grounded and experienced leadership once the merger is complete.”

NWMHFT Chair Maggie Wheeler said the panel’s decision to appoint Aidan was unanimous.

“I was pleased to receive positive comments from both the Norfolk and Suffolk interview panel representatives about his values and vision for the combined organisation. I know he will continue to provide strong leadership both through the next stage of the merger and in the task of forming one Trust. This is will be no mean feat in the current climate of change and financial constraint and Mr Thomas has my total confidence.”


Notes for editors:

Aidan Thomas – biography
Aidan Thomas has worked in the NHS for more than 20 years. He has a long background in
mental health, and the direct provision of care. Prior to joining the trust in October 2009 he was chief executive officer at West Essex Primary Care Trust. Aidan is a former director of human resources and executive director of Lambeth Community NHS Trust. In 1995 he joined Essex and Herts Community NHS Trust as director of operations, and was appointed chief executive of Epping Forest Primary Care Trust in April 2000.​