A potential merger between two of Birmingham’s most famous hospitals has moved a step closed after it was announced the same woman will be in charge of both.
Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s chief executive has been named head of the Birmingham Women’s Hospital .
Sarah-Jane Marsh began her new job in the top role at the Women’s Hospital on Wednesday (July 1).
Ms Marsh, who became chief executive of the children’s hospital in March 2009 aged just 32, will work across both sites in Edgbaston and the city centre in a dual role.
And she hinted the move might lead to a merger between the Birmingham Women’s and Children’s hospitals on one site in the future – probably the University Hospital campus.
The move comes after Professor Ros Keeton’s surprise announcement in May that she would be stepping down as chief executive at the women’s hospital after three and a half years at the Trust, for ‘personal’ reasons.
Ms Marsh said: “I am truly privileged and delighted to be appointed as chief executive of Birmingham Women’s Hospital .
“The hospital is such a special and important institution that has touched the lives of so many women, children and families in Birmingham, and I am totally committed to protecting its services for many more generations to come.”
In the past, the children’s hospital has made it clear that its long-term strategy is to move onto the University Hospital campus, which houses the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham Women’s Hospital, the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine and University of Birmingham Medical School.
Ms Marsh previously told the Post the hospital was working to strengthen its links with the site.
As part of the new appointment, a senior team from the Birmingham Children’s Hospital will support the women’s hospital to build on “the work the hospitals have been doing together on a joint hospital option”.
Ms Marsh added: “The women’s hospital has reached a critical juncture where the decisions made over the next few months will significantly impact its future, so it’s important that we get this right.
“A team from the children’s hospital will bring their expertise to help pull together the strategic analysis the Women’s Board needs to make the best decisions, whether the outcome is a joint hospital or not.
“It’s a very exciting time and I can’t wait to get stuck in.”
A £70 million planning application has also recently been approved by the city council, which will see a new gynaecology unit, expanded maternity unit and new in-patient accommodation.
The build will increase the maternity unit’s capacity from 7,800 births a year to 9,200 as well as create work for 97 new staff.
Birmingham Women’s Hospital chairman, Elisabeth Buggins, said: “Both Trusts have a shared vision. Sarah-Jane has been appointed for her strong track record in successfully leading a world-renowned specialist hospital, her passion for families, her promise to protect and build on the strengths of the women’s hospital; and her commitment to safeguarding the future of combined women’s and children’s services locally, nationally and internationally.”