A chief executive who turned around an ailing Norfolk hospital has been appointed the new boss of Northampton General Hospital.
The top spot has been vacant since the last incumbent Andrew Riley left in April for a high-level National Health Service role after three-and-a-half years in Northampton.
The hospital has now announced its new chief executive will be Paul Forden, who took the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust from a one-star rating to the coveted foundation trust status in four years.
He takes over from current interim chief executive Helen O'Shea who did not put herself forward for the job.
Northampton General Hospital chairman Dr John Hickey said: "I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Helen O'Shea for the marvellous job that she has done as interim chief executive over the last six months.
"Although Helen chose not to apply for the post on this occasion she has consistently demonstrated that she has all the qualities required to operate successfully at this level in the NHS."
Under Mr Forden, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals also won several key awards for performance, including from the Healthcare Commission and the Dr Foster group which publishes guides on healthcare services.
In the past 12 years Mr Forden has been the chief executive of Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, the acting chief executive at King's College Hospital in London, and director of operations at Addenbrooke's NHS Trust in Cambridge.
Father-of-three Mr Forden saw his former trust to foundation trust status which was confirmed on May 1, 2008, but left so new leadership could take the hospital to the next stage of its development.