Interim Chief Executive appointed at Torbay Hospital

Published: 11 April 2014

Dr John Lowes, Medical Director at South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, has been appointed Interim Chief Executive in order to ensure that the trust continues to have strategic clinical leadership during the absence on suspension of the substantive Chief Executive, Dr Paula Vasco-Knight, CBE.

Acting Chairman of the trust, David Allen, OBE, commented: “The interim clinical leadership Dr Lowes provides is invaluable for the trust during the absence of our Chief Executive, Dr Paula Vasco-Knight, CBE.

“Our plan is to create a single integrated care organisation (ICO) which revolutionises health and social care services for our community. Dr Lowes has been involved with this project from the outset and, as a highly respected doctor and an outstanding clinical leader, he is ideally placed to provide the strategic leadership that we need as Interim Chief Executive during Dr Vasco-Knight’s absence.”

Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance, Paul Cooper continues to support the ICO and lead the operational management of the trust. He warmly welcomed the appointment of Dr Lowes, saying: “I am delighted that Dr Lowes is taking on this interim post. His clinical knowledge and excellent relationships with colleagues across the healthcare community will be invaluable in steering us towards the ICO.”

Dr Lowes studied medicine at Cambridge University and specialised in gastroenterology. He has been a consultant at Torbay Hospital for over 20 years and has been Medical Director since 2009. Speaking of his appointment Dr Lowes said:

“As a longstanding member of our health community, I am delighted and proud to have this opportunity to lead the trust on an interim basis at this challenging and exciting stage of its development. I am passionate about system change for the benefit of patients. My two immediate priorities are to take forward the integrated care organisation and to improve the patient experience in our Emergency Department. I wholeheartedly agree with Don Redding, Director of Policy at National Voices, who said in a workshop last week, that we must be asking people ‘What matters to you?’, rather than ‘What is the matter with you?’. That way we will truly focus on what is right for our patients as we work towards the integration of health and social care in Torbay and South Devon.”

Dr Derek Greatorex, chair of South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Dr Lowes is well known and well respected as an experienced clinical leader, and we welcome his appointment as Interim Chief Executive.

“It is a positive appointment for the trust and for the future of integrated health and care across South Devon and Torbay. We at the CCG look forward to working with Dr Lowes to create fully joined-up services that improve people’s health, quality of life and wellbeing.”