GOBOWEN'S Orthopaedic Hospital has appointed an experienced consultant anaesthetist as the next chief medical officer.

Dr Ruth Longfellow will take up the post at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt (RJAH) at the end of April next year, succeeding Mr Steve White – who is retiring after 27 years at the hospital and eight in his current post.

Dr Longfellow has herself worked at RJAH since 2011, and is currently associate medical director.

She said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have been selected to be chief medical officer from next April.

“Since I joined the hospital nine years ago, I have built strong relationships across the Trust and have worked with excellent teams who have sought to improve patient care, experience and patient safety.

“I have learnt a lot from working with Mr White and I’m very much looking forwards to building on his work, to continue towards the Trust’s vision of delivering world class patient care.”

Mr White said: “I’ve always been proud to work at RJAH.

"I am happy that I have been able to contribute to a hospital which is already good, but continues to get better. The time is right for me to move on, and I wish Ruth every success in the role – I am sure she will find it every bit as rewarding as I have.”

Dr Longfellow’s appointment comes following a rigorous and comprehensive recruitment process which involved senior surgeons, senior doctors, therapists and nurses, as well as stakeholders including Keele University and representatives from Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP).

Patient and hospital governors also played a key role in the selection.

Frank Collins, the chairman of RJAH, said: “On behalf of the board and the governors, I would like congratulate Ruth on her appointment. Her passion for patient safety and quality shone through in the process. She will be a welcome addition to the board.”

Mark Brandreth, RJAH chief Executive, added: “I am delighted to announce Ruth’s appointment. She came through a very tough and complex process and a very competitive field.

“What really shone out was Ruth’s desire to engage with all parts of the hospital, and particularly to ensure we continue to involve senior doctors in our journey to be clinically led. Ruth will also play a lead role in representing the Trust in the wider Shropshire system and in regional and national work.”