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Isle of Wight’s NHS leadership strengthened in drive to make services sustainable

Penny Emerit
Isle of Wight’s NHS leadership strengthened in drive to make services sustainable
11 May 2023

The NHS on the Isle of Wight will be strengthened by the appointment of two experienced leaders.

A partnership between Isle of Wight NHS Trust (IWT) and Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust (PHU) is part of a system-wide plan to improve services and health outcomes for island residents.

To strengthen the Acute Services Partnership, Penny Emerit, Chief Executive at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, has been confirmed as the new Chief Executive at Isle of Wight NHS Trust.

Penny, an experienced and highly capable NHS chief executive, will lead both organisations from 1 June 2023 and will appoint a single executive team and clinical leadership across both Trusts.

Penny said: “I am proud to have the opportunity to lead two very special organisations. Very different in many respects but both with the same determination and commitment to work in partnership to provide the best possible care to the communities we serve.

“The two organisations have a long history of working together for the benefit of our patients and our work together through this partnership has further demonstrated the ambition and enthusiasm of our fantastic teams to continue to improve for the benefit of both populations.

“We have made good progress in our Acute Services Partnership, and I look forward to working with the local communities, health and care partners and the teams in both Trusts to sustainable clinical services. Working with experienced and strategic leadership across both Trusts and retaining strong, experienced site leaders in Portsmouth and on the island will be crucial to our success, ensuring both Trusts work at the heart of their local health and care system.

“Isle of Wight NHS Trust will continue as a strong partner in the Integrated Health and Care Partnership (IHCP) for the Isle of Wight and I am really pleased to have the opportunity to continue to work closely with Darren Cattell as he takes up his new role.” 

Darren Cattell, who has led Isle of Wight NHS Trust for the last 18 months, will join Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board (ICB) as Isle of Wight Place Director.

He will play a central role in the IHCP for the Isle of Wight, which brings together the providers of health and care services locally, ensuring services continue to improve and meet the changing needs of islanders.

Melloney Poole, Chairman at Isle of Wight NHS Trust and Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, said: 

“Strengthening the leadership of the NHS on the Isle of Wight will ensure that services continue to improve, are made sustainable, and that our communities are at the heart of everything we do.

“Penny’s appointment is good news for the island’s NHS, its patients, and staff. She brings with her a wealth of experience, expertise, and an overriding commitment to the continuous and lasting improvement in the services we provide for our patients, their families, our staff and our communities.

“I would also like to pay huge tribute to Darren Cattell, who with our partners has delivered so much for the Isle of Wight. A Good rating from the Care Quality Commission, improving staff survey results, and multi-million-pound investment in island services are testimony to the excellent work that has been done in recent years.”

Penny was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust (PHU) in September 2022 having undertaken the role on an interim basis since March 2021. Penny joined PHU in January 2018 as Director of Strategy and Performance and later added the Deputy Chief Executive portfolio to her responsibilities prior to taking on the CEO role.

As CEO, Penny led PHU to a second CQC Good rating in July 2022 following a well-led inspection and core service inspection of medicine and urgent care services.

In her time at PHU, Penny led the development of the Trust’s ‘Working Together’ strategy, launched in July 2018 and has been instrumental in the development and implementation of the Trust’s ‘Delivering Excellence’ continuous improvement approach to delivering the Trust’s strategy and improving the culture of the organisation.

In a message to PHU staff at the time of her appointment as CEO in September 2022, Penny identified delivering on PHU’s commitment to be the acute partner for the IWT as one of three long term priorities for her and PHU, reflecting the importance of the partnership to enabling genuine service redesign for the benefit of the local populations on the island and in Portsmouth and South East Hampshire.

Penny has almost twenty years’ experience in healthcare at national, regional and local level, covering policy, regulation and service delivery with a credible track record of delivery across the NHS in London and the South. Her expertise in strategy development and implementation alongside regulation and performance improvement drives her passion and commitment to delivering sustainable improvement for the benefit of patients, communities and staff.

Both Trusts are committed to engaging and working with staff, patients and the public as the Acute Services Partnership develops.

The Acute Services Partnership, formalised in 2020 following a long history of working together, was created to support the clinical and financial sustainability of small scale, fragile hospital services on the Isle of Wight.

It is one of a series of strategic partnerships that Isle of Wight NHS Trust entered into as part of its Trust Strategy, published in 2019.

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