Hywel Dda's Trevor Purt to take over at Betsi Cadwaladr
The NHS body covering north Wales has named its new chief executive as the man currently in charge of hospitals in mid and west Wales.
Prof Trevor Purt will take over at the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in June.
He relinquishes his post as head of the Hywel Dda University Health Board at a time when that board is undergoing a controversial reorganisation programme.
Prof Purt said the "time is right for new challenges".
End Quote Prof Trevor Purt
These have not been the easiest of times and I want to personally thank all staff for their dedication and commitment - you are the university health board's greatest asset”
Proposals to downgrade A&E provision at Llanelli's Prince Philip Hospital are being challenged under a judicial review, while earlier this month hundreds of campaigners protested at the assembly over changes to special baby care provision in west Wales.
Prof Purt will be joining the north Wales health board at a time when it is also under the spotlight.
A joint report by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales and the Wales Audit Office in 2013 found a series of problems at the health board, which runs Ysbyty Gwynedd, Glan Clwyd and Wrexham Maelor hospitals.
It said leadership at the board was "fundamentally compromised" with the relationship between the chairman and chief executive breaking down. Both later announced they were stepping down from their posts.
Speaking on his appointment, Prof Purt said: "I am sad to leave as I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the university health board but feel the time is right for new challenges in north Wales.
"We have come a long way in the last four-and-a-half years and there is still more to do to ensure that Hywel Dda has the right services in the right place to provide the very best healthcare.Expertise
"These have not been the easiest of times and I want to personally thank all staff for their dedication and commitment - you are the university health board's greatest asset."
The chair of the Betsi Cadwaladr board, Dr Peter Higson, welcomed the announcement on Tuesday.
"His breadth of experience in the health service and expertise in planning and delivering safe, sustainable services will be invaluable for us at this important time," he said.
He added that the interim chief executive, Geoff Lang, will remain in post until Prof Purt takes up his new role in the summer.
Reacting to the announcement, Mabon ap Gwynfor from the north Wales patients' campaign group, the North Wales Health Alliance said reorganisation at the Hywel Dda board left him feeling "very concerned" about the appointment.
But the Plaid Cymru AM for North Wales, Llyr Gruffydd said: "I'm pleased a decision has been made and I hope Mr Purt brings some stability to the top of Betsi Cadwaladr."