Search for new Northampton General Hospital chief is over

Dr Sonia Swart
Dr Sonia Swart

Dr Sonia Swart has been appointed the new permanent chief executive of Northampton General Hospital.

The medical director for several years, she had also been acting in the top role since the end of June, and was successful in interviews held last week for the permanent position.

Paul Farenden, chairman of the NGH board, said: “She was head and shoulders above all others that were present and was the unanimous choice.

“Sonia was the outstanding candidate from a strong field of applicants who underwent a rigorous recruitment process. Her experience as a consultant and also as Medical Director of the Trust, gives her a unique insight into the needs and future development of the organisation.

“I am confident Sonia has the vision drive and commitment and will provide the leadership we need to face the challenges ahead.’

The decision ends the search for a leader that had begun in March after Dr Gerry McSorley quit, saying he did not want to oversee any merger between NGH and Kettering General Hospital, which the trusts had begun talks on.

Christine Allen took over on an interim basis but then left herself at the end of June, leaving Dr Swart in charge.

Dr Swart said, “I am looking forward to working with all my colleagues here at NGH and across the healthcare economy and intend to approach the CEO role with a mixture of optimism, reality, ambition and an appropriate degree of humility.

“We face a number of challenges but I firmly believe that NGH is fundamentally a good hospital with many excellent services.

“We need to rekindle the essential pride in our work and the sound teamwork based approach that forms the foundation of any successful organisation.

“I see my role as leading all of us to the point where we can all stand up and be proud of all the care this hospital provides.”