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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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New Furness General Hospital boss says it is vital to win public’s trust

THE newly-appointed top boss of the body responsible for running Furness General Hospital has said earning the public’s trust is vital.

John Cowdall, who is due to take up the role of chairman at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust on February 1, has admitted there is still a lot of work to be done to lead UHMBT to recovery.

The 72-year-old takes over from Sir David Henshaw, the £1,000-a-day troubleshooter parachuted in by health watchdog Monitor last February.

Sir David was responsible for the turn-around of the scandal-hit trust, including a complete overhaul of its board, bridging the gap between management and clinical staff and promoting a new culture of openness and honesty.
Of that legacy, Mr Cowdall said: “There can’t be any closed books.

“If people don’t trust the organisation that’s responsible for looking after their healthcare, it’s time for the people who breached that trust and broke that trust to either retrain and reskill to get back to it, or to move on. And I think we’ve had a bit of both here.”

Having addressed its most pressing problems in terms of safety and quality, UHMBT continues to face major challenges.

It needs to save £50m over the next five years, must have a financial recovery plan in place by April 2014 and is working with the county’s commissioners to review all its services.

But Mr Cowdall, who is expected to earn £40,000 annually, said it was the challenge of the task that attracted him to the role.

He said: “I think there’s an awful lot to do.

“Sir David Henshaw, who I’ve known for a very long time, is quite a guy. He’s led a huge recovery programme over the last 12 months and I think he’s done that with great distinction. I want to continue that at least as well as he has done it. I want to help the trust get back to where it wants to be, to have learned all the lessons that are possible from the mistakes of the past and make it an excellent foundation trust providing a first class service to the people it serves.”

Mr Cowdall has a good history with bodies in need of reform, having run a consultancy company responsible for taking organisations apart and restructuring them to work more effectively.

Roles as non-executive director at Calderstones NHS Foundation Trust and the former South Lancashire Health Authority demonstrate his experience in and passion for the NHS and, a chief executive of West Lancashire Borough Council for 17 years, he has a wealth of history in leadership.

Have your say

1. Get rid of the Lorenzo computer system.
Appointments still cannot be made.

2. Stop cutting frontline staff's hours
yet paying £1,000 a day for Henshaw.

3. Prune the ever increasing army of
managers, etc.

Posted by your computer system does not work on 19 January 2013 at 20:34

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