Hospitals manager Nick Saville-Wood will lead Lakes District Health Board while a new chief executive is recruited.

The district health board chief operating officer will lead the organisation for a fixed period when retiring chief executive Ron Dunham steps down at the end of December.

Lakes District Health Board chief operating office Nick Saville-Wood will lead the board when retiring chief executive Ron Dunham steps down. Photo / supplied
Lakes District Health Board chief operating office Nick Saville-Wood will lead the board when retiring chief executive Ron Dunham steps down. Photo / supplied

Saville-Wood manages Rotorua and Taupo Hospitals along with a number of community services. He led the rebuild of both Rotorua and Taupo Hospitals in his previous role as general manager of corporate services and as the project director for the hospital's redevelopment that ended in 2014.

Board chair Deryck Shaw said Saville-Wood had been seconded to the chief executive role for up to six months while the district health board went through recruitment for a permanent chief executive.

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Shaw said the board noted Saville-Wood was a very experienced senior health executive who has worked at the district health board for more than 20 years.

Shaw said board members were confident that the district health board would continue its work programme and was committed to ensuring there was no loss of momentum for the organisation during the recruitment period.

Saville-Wood has already stepped into the top job on several occasions during the six and a half years that Dunham was chief executive and has taken leave.

The board also selected Craig O'Connell of Recruitment and Performance Consulting to search for a new chief executive. O'Connell has previously been involved in the chief executive recruitment processes at district health boards for the Bay of Plenty, Nelson Marlborough and Taranaki areas.

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