23rd Aug, 2019

NHS chief recovering after second transplant

WORCESTERSHIRE Acute Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive Matthew Hopkins is recovering after undergoing his second kidney transplant, the trust has confirmed.

The Trust’s chief operating officer Paul Brennan has temporarily stepped up as acting chief executive until he returns to work.

Mr Hopkins joined the Trust in December 2018, replacing Michelle McKay who was returning to her native Australia.

A keen supporter of NHS donation – his twitter feed features an image of two kidneys – Mr Hopkins is said to be recovering well following his operation.

His transplant is believed to have come from a living donor.

An NHS high flier, Matthew Hopkins trained as a nurse before moving in to health management.

His willingness to accept accountability and learn the lessons from when things went wrong at his previous trust, marked him out as the man to take the helm at troubled Worcestershire Acute.

He had previously been in charge at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals in London, leading it out of special measures before it fell into financial difficulty.

Across the UK 6,259 people are currently waiting for a donor organ, and of these, 4,877 are waiting for a kidney transplant. In Worcestershire there are 50 people waiting for a donor organ and over the last five years 18 people have died waiting for one.

Last year in the county 13 people became life saving organ donors when they died.

A spokesperson for the health trust said: “Our chief executive, Matthew Hopkins is currently taking a period of planned sickness absence, and we are expecting him to return to work next month.

“In Matthew’s absence, our chief operating officer, Paul Brennan is acting chief executive.”

An NHS Blood and Transplant spokesperson said: “We’re incredibly grateful to all the courageous donors and their families across the country, who help to save so many lives. We wish Matthew well in his recovery.

“With the law around organ donation changing in England from next spring, we urge everyone to find out about the choices available to them.

“If you would like to help others after your death, tell your family you want to be an organ donor and join the NHS Organ Donor Register.”

To find out more about the NHS Organ Donor Register, and also about donating a kidney while alive, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk

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