ROB Aitchison is to become acting chief executive of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.

He is taking on the role when current boss Brendan Brown leaves in the new year.

Mr Aitchison is at present chief operating officer, an appointment he took-up in April, 2019.

He previously worked at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, where latterly he had been director of operations for four years.

The interim leadership arrangements will also see Victoria Pickles, currently Airedale’s director of corporate affairs, become temporary deputy chief executive officer.

And Stuart Shaw – director of strategy, planning and partnerships – will move into the chief operating officer role.

The changes will take effect from January 1 for between four and six months whilst a new, permanent chief executive is appointed.

Andrew Gold, chair of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our trust has a strong executive team – and these succession arrangements provide continuity in our leadership.

“Rob, Vicky and Stuart are all recognised for being considerate and very capable leaders and will maintain our focus on providing excellent care for our patients.”

Mr Brown joined Airedale as its chief executive in the spring of 2018.

He is leaving to take-up the top post at the Calderdale and Huddersfield trust, where he worked previously as chief nurse and deputy chief executive.

During his time in charge of Airedale Hospital, the facility has celebrated its 50th anniversary and plans have been put forward for a state-of-the-art new-build replacement on the site – whilst staff, with other NHS colleagues, have provided care throughout the pandemic.