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Suffolk: Community health chief steps down role to take up new position overseas – process now under way to find a replacement

PUBLISHED: 19:00 08 July 2014

Dr Tierney

Dr Tierney

The head of community health services in Suffolk will be leaving the role next month to take on a new position in America, it has emerged.

Suffolk Community Healthcare came under pressure after it was first announced that private firm Serco had won the contract to run it and the service struggled to meet key targets.

Abigail Tierney was appointed chief executive of SCH in January and she set out her determination to make improvements, while praising the work that was already starting to take place.

Serco bosses say Dr Tierney has brought about a wealth of improvements to community health in the county, as they confirmed she would now be moving to the USA to lead Serco Americas’ health business.

Andrew White, chief executive of Serco Local and Regional Government, said: ‘Together the leadership team at Suffolk Community Healthcare has made a real impact.

“After a challenging beginning, it is achieving and sustaining excellent operational performance across all measures and developing patient services to be proud of.

“I know this will continue as SCH goes from strength to strength, building an organisation with good care always at its heart.”

Serco has now started the process of finding a successor and is currently looking externally for a replacement.

The company has said that it hopes to find a new chief executive in time for a ‘smooth handover with Dr Tierney’.

Despite taking on the new role, Dr Tierney will remain a part of Suffolk Community Healthcare as she will stay on the board as a non-executive director.

Previously she was director of development for healthcare with Serco, leading on large, complex partnerships, including integrated care and outcomes-based contracting.

Prior to that, she was director of strategy and innovation at University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust.

It is more than 18 months since Serco officially took on the role of providing community health services, which includes district nurses and community hospitals, to about 600,000 patients in Suffolk.

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