Southern NSW Local Health District appoints new head

Andrew Newton will take up the reins of the Southern NSW Local Health District. Photo supplied.

Andrew Newton will take up the reins of the Southern NSW Local Health District. Photo supplied.

The Southern NSW Local Health District has appointed a new CEO, three months after its former head departed in controversial circumstances.

Board chairman Dr Allan Hawke has announced that former Westmead Hospital general manager Andrew Newton has taken up the role.

“A new chief executive signals a new era for the organisation, as we work to improve our delivery of services, along with the redevelopment projects throughout the LHD,” Dr Hawke said.. 

“Andrew comes with a strong background across a wide variety of areas within Health, having spent three years as General Manager of Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals and three years as general manager at Westmead and Auburn hospitals. 

“He has the skills and experience to put in place a first-class health system throughout Southern NSW.”

Mr Newton was a student nurse in Sunderland in the UK before moving to Australia to start work in 1994 as a registered nurse in operating theatres at Blacktown.

He then gained experience in rural health delivery through hospital manager roles in Cowra, Parkes, Forbes and other hospitals in Western NSW before being appointed as general manager at Dubbo Hospital in 2009.

In 2012, Mr Newton moved into an executive position with Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), where he gained redevelopment experience leading a major multi-million dollar capital works program.

Dr Hawke said this provided Mr Newton with valuable skills and experience in rebuilding Westmead Hospital, working closely with staff, precinct partners and the community to ensure the redevelopment transformed the delivery of healthcare in area. 

The LHD’s mental health director Julie Mooney has been acting in the role since August. Dr Hawke thanked her for her “sterling contribution.”

“(We have) been fortunate to have someone of Julie Mooney’s experience and commitment,” he said.

 “We look forward to having her work closely with the new chief executive.”

It’s understood Mrs Mooney, who is from Goulburn, applied for the position.

Former CEO Janet Compton resigned suddenly in early August following staff and community complaints about lack of consultation about health service changes and a damning report about management of Bega Hospital.  

Dr Hawke was also appointed the board chairman in August, replacing Jenny Symons.