Agenda item

Introduction of Andy Heeps

Interim Chief Executive of North Middlesex University Hospital and an update on the status of NMUH.


The Chair welcomed Dr Andy Heeps, attending the Health & Wellbeing Board for the first time as Interim Chief Executive of North Middlesex University Hospital (NMUH). The Chair took the opportunity to formally thank outgoing Chief Executive Maria Kane for everything she had done for NMUH, her leadership at the hospital and her valued contributions. Councillor Alev Cazimoglu, Cabinet Member for Health & Social Care, also wished to put on record on behalf of the Health & Wellbeing Board and on behalf of Enfield residents thanks to Maria Kane for all that she had done for this deprived section of London. Maria was wished well in her new role.


RECEIVED a presentation of introduction from Dr Andy Heeps, including an update on changes in the wider NHS and at NMUH. The slide deck was available in the agenda pack.




1.  He had been Deputy Chief Executive since 2020 and Chief Operating Officer at NMUH since 2018.

2.  Interviews for a replacement NMUH CEO were scheduled for 16 April.

3.  Caroline Clarke of Royal Free London had also been asked to be the Accountable Officer for NMUH. The new CEO would be responsible to the NMUH Trust Board and Chair, and accountable to the Accountable Officer.

4.  A recap was provided of the NMUH response to the Covid pandemic, and tribute paid to the staff working during this unprecedented moment in their careers.

5.  The impact of Covid on waiting lists for care was set out. The vast majority of people were seen within the 18 week standard. Certain services were affected by longer waiting times.

6.  The formal partnership of the two trusts of NMUH and Royal Free London was not a merger. It built on years of working together, and the learning from Covid-19.

7.  The context of NHS hospital provision in the borough of Enfield and the wider area was set out. Working in partnership would create a single focus to meet Enfield’s health and wellbeing needs.

8.  Improvements and new NHS services for Enfield residents now and soon were set out, and investment in people and quality.

9.  The partnership was designed for Enfield and to give a stronger voice for Enfield in North London and across London health and care.




10.  The Chair’s remarks that the priorities were the right ones, but questions remained for the NHS, NMUH and Royal Free London, particularly around assets and the protection of those assets. There must be a governance structure that allowed for Enfield’s local voice to be heard and with the local authority having ‘a seat at the table’. In terms of funding, it should not be just about equity across the system but for our borough too. The three key questions were: (1) would all existing services at NMUH be maintained; (2) what would bed capacity look like in 12 months; and (3) if there were any staffing losses how many would be from NMUH?

11.  Andy Heeps confirmed that bed capacity would be identical in 12 months’ time. Every winter there was a need to stop elective work at NMUH to cope with emergency admissions. Chase Farm Hospital was not affected by winter pressures. There would not be services lost at NMUH, but there would be specialties at Chase Farm. In respect of staffing, there was no plan to take posts out. There would be openness and transparency about staff redeployment.

12. In response to queries regarding resolution of issues at A&E and reducing the demand for emergency care at MNUH, it was confirmed that small numbers of patients admitted against large numbers of ambulance arrivals per day reflected that many people in the area were not registered with GPs, the locality was deprived, and there had been under-investment in primary care in the borough. The update on the poverty reduction strategy had been encouraging, and the care hub would be important.

13.  In response to Councillor Jewell’s queries in respect of Chase Farm urgent care centre it was confirmed this centre was not at risk. Even at the height of the pandemic when user numbers were lower it had still proved to be needed.

14.  Parin Bahl recorded thanks to the NMUH staff during the pandemic. She wished to reiterate the importance there was a partnership and not a merger. There was a need for assurance around assets, and assurance around redistribution of funds or services, and accountability to local communities. It was important there was a local Chief Executive. NMUH should not be downgraded: it was a teaching hospital and needed high level university presence. It’s commitment to equality was also valued. NMUH was a fantastic community hospital because of the involvement of patients. In respect of urgent care, there was concern regarding reduction in hours and emphasis that Chase Farm was a good asset. A collaborative relationship with an integrated approach was welcomed.

15.  Councillor Cazimoglu additionally highlighted concerns regarding the Secretary of State having final decision making powers on hospital reconfigurations, and apprehension among the local community given previous experiences in Enfield.

16.  The Chair echoed the importance of the status of NMUH, it’s importance for local employment and as an anchor institution for health provision in London. Health services in the borough were highly valued. It had been reassuring to hear that Chase Farm would play a more prominent role in the provision of services.

17.  Andy Heeps acknowledged the emotions voiced and the points raised. The key emphasis would always be on benefits to patients. This Board would be kept informed.

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