West Herts NHS Trust chief executive praised after achieving 'unusual' accolade

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He only took the role eight months ago

The new leader of West Herts Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has achieved an ‘unusual’ accolade just eight months into his post.

Matthew Coats was named as one of Health Service Journal’s ‘top 50 NHS chief executives’.

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He took up the position in July 2022, having previously held senior roles in the Department of Health, Home Office and Cabinet Office following 15 years’ experience in hospital management.

West Herts Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust CEO Matthew CoatsWest Herts Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust CEO Matthew Coats
West Herts Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust CEO Matthew Coats

Since he joined last summer, West Herts Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has won praise for its virtual hospital, accelerated its robot-assisted surgery programme and pressed on with its redevelopment plans.

Money has also been allocated to deliver additional diagnostic services and planned surgery has also been confirmed.

Trust chairman Phil Townsend said: “Matthew was an exceptionally strong candidate from the start and has absolutely hit the ground running. As well as bringing new focus to our rebuild plans and shaping the way the local health system works, he is also determined to drive up performance and reduce waiting times for our patients.

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“Matthew balances his passion for innovation with his desire to create a fantastic culture for staff, where their wellbeing is front and centre.

“It’s easy to say the right things on an application form but Matthew really is bringing his words about making a difference at his local hospital trust to life. I am delighted that his success so far and his obvious commitment have been recognised by the HSJ after such a short time in post.”

Judges were asked to choose the top 50 based on the performance of the organisation run by the CEO, their contribution to the wider healthcare system, and the personal example they set to peers and employees. They were asked to mainly rate CEOs on their likely impact during the next 12 months, but past performance was taken into account.

HSJ’s editor Alastair McLellan, said: “Matthew’s inclusion in the top 50 after just eight months as a chief executive is highly unusual and a tribute to the example he has already set and the impact judges expect him to have on the trust’s performance.”