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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust boss quits

THE chief executive of The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), which runs Furness General Hospital, has today announced he is stepping down.

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Tony Halsall

Tony Halsall has faced repeated calls to quit following the numerous scandals and heavy criticism that have hit the trust over recent months.

Mr Halsall has continuously defended his position, but has today stepped down, signalling a new chapter at UHMBT.

He said: “This has been an extremely difficult time for me personally and professionally.

"I have always been totally committed to driving through the changes that are essential in order to ensure high quality patient care for the patients of South Cumbria and North Lancashire.

"I believe that considerable progress has been made in recent months to address a number of issues the Trust faces but I recognise that it is now appropriate for the lead to be taken by a new Chief Executive.”

Mr Halsall joined the NHS in 1980 as a nurse.

He moved into management during the 1990s and has held a number of senior NHS management roles in the North West.

He was chief executive at Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology NHS Foundation Trust before being appointed chief executive at UHMBT in 2007. He also led Morecambe Bay to Foundation Trust status in 2010.

The trust's interim chair, Sir David Henshaw, paid tribute to Mr Halsall's hard work and dedication.

He said: “Over the last 5 years Tony Halsall has led the Trust through difficult times showing considerable loyalty and integrity.

"He has often found himself in the position of taking responsibility for issues when others should have been alongside him."

The Trust’s Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance, Tim Bennett, will act as Chief Executive for the next two weeks after which Sir David will announce the name of the new interim Chief Executive.

See tomorrow's Evening Mail for the full story, including reaction to today's announcement.

Have your say

I would like to offer a new way of looking at all this hospital trouble.
The current NHS gives us two hospitals in the same place. The 'real' one, at down-to earth level, runs pretty much as it always did. It has well-intentioned & hard-pressed staff who, as ever, try stubbornly to make the place work as it should, under unfavourable conditions.
Hovering high above it is a 'virtual' hospital, where lives the management. This one claims to be at 'foundation' level, but is miles above all earthly considerations. It is squeaky clean, fully-staffed and delivers first-class services. No problems can be found here; policies fully 'reviewed', risks managed, standards are met or exceeded, 'robust procedures' are in place and quality is 'assured'.
The two institutions have little contact, but share a name. We should be careful, when we offer praise or aim criticism, to specify which one we mean. NHS watchdogs targeted the bosses in their recent reports, alleging a lack of awareness, concealments & deceit. Staff, by & large, usually endeavour to do as they ought, whatever management may impose upon them.

Posted by Russell Dunkeld on 28 February 2012 at 21:34

I’m afraid Angela is really missing the point. After a train crash where lives are lost, no one would criticise the press for not reporting on all the train journeys where the train did not crash. We expect trains to travel on safely maintained tracks and that proper procedures are followed to prevent avoidable accidents. In exactly the same way, we expect a basic standard of care to be maintained and procedures to be in place to prevent avoidable serious harm or death in our hospitals. When something as serious and tragic as the failures which have occurred at the maternity unit at FGH occur, it is absolutely right that the issues are highlighted. It is in everyone’s interests that they are. I find you comments extremely naïve and also very insensitive to the devastating and preventable loss that many parents in the area are currently suffering

Posted by Steven on 27 February 2012 at 10:59

View all 25 comments on this article

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