KEVIN McNamara has been promoted to the top job at the Great Western Hospital as it tackles the coronavirus emergency.

The 39-year-old has been acting chief executive officer since June 2019 but has now landed the role permanently.

Last week he told the Adver around 60 patients – a sixth of the hospital’s overall capacity – were awaiting Covid-19 test results.
Five people who tested positive for the virus have died at GWH, with all having underlying health conditions.

Mr McNamara said: “I’m privileged to have been appointed as chief executive of my local hospital trust and to lead and be part of a fantastic team throughout Swindon and Wiltshire.

“I’ve always been amazed by how our staff are prepared to step forward and this has never been more evident than at the current time, as we – along with the rest of the NHS – face our biggest challenge.

“While the immediate focus is clearly responding to Covid-19, looking into the future we have reason to be optimistic and ambitious about how we can deliver care with exciting plans for expansion already underway.

“My focus will continue to be on improving the care we provide to our patients, bringing together our secondary, community and primary care services but also to ensuring our staff have the support they need at all times.”

Mr McNamara has worked for the NHS since 2003 and joined the GWH NHS Foundation Trust in 2009. Since 2013, he has been director of strategy and community services.
In June 2019 took on duties as acting CEO, and since then, he has overseen the trust move from being a stand-alone secondary care provider to an integrated secondary, community and primary care organisation.

Previous CEO Nerissa Vaughan stepped down in September 2019 because of ill health after almost eight years in the role.

A national recruitment process has been carried out over the last few months to find her successor.
Trust chairman Liam Coleman said: “I’m delighted that our council of governors has approved the appointment of Kevin to this role.

“Kevin has performed outstandingly while acting up in to the role, and has really led from the front in the organisation’s current response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am confident that this appointment will provide our trust with the leadership needed to rise to the challenges we face right now, but also take us forward in to the future.

“Kevin will play a critical role in improving the quality of care, staff engagement, operational performance, financial management and will drive forward the integration of the local health economy and STP.”