New boss brought in to save Furness General Hospital
Last updated at 13:59, Thursday, 15 March 2012
THE health boss tasked with steering to recovery the notorious Mid Staffordshire hospitals has been drafted in to take over at the helm of a crisis-hit trust.
The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Furness General Hospital, has appointed Eric Morton as its new interim chief executive.
The change comes following the resignation of former boss Tony Halsall, who stepped down last month following a series of damning reports and scandals involving trust services.
Families affected by the deaths of babies following failings in maternity at FGH, now the subject of a criminal investigation, led a campaign urging him to resign in the wake of the revelations.
Mr Morton has been a chief executive at a number of NHS foundation trusts, including Chesterfield Royal Hospital, since joining the health service in 1987.
In 2009, he was brought in to take over at the helm of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, when it was at the centre of a probe into one of the worst scandals in NHS history.
It is thought that between 400 and 1,200 more patients died between 2005 and 2008 than would be expected for the type of hospital, due to substandard care.
He is the latest highly-experienced manager drafted in to help implement improvements at the trust, which has been served with three formal warning notices by regulatory body Monitor.
The UHMBT board has come in for fierce criticism from health watchdogs.
At the end of last year, two senior members of staff, operations director Steven Vaughan and chairman Professor Eddie Kane, resigned.
Sir David Henshaw, interim chairman of the UHMBT, said: “It is a great achievement to attract someone of Eric’s calibre to assist the team in their important work of turning the trust around to ensure it provides consistently safe, high quality care to the public it serves.”
Mr Morton said: “I am extremely pleased to accept this position and look forward to working with the board governors and staff providing high quality services for our patients.”
Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said: “I welcome Eric Morton to his role. New leadership is needed to turn our hospitals trust around.
“I have repeatedly said that we need swift and decisive change to make the improvements that are so desperately needed to ensure the highest quality care for patients. I will be looking for an urgent meeting to talk about his plans for the trust.”
Mr Morton will begin working for the trust next week. He has been brought in on a temporary basis and the UHMBT are to advertise for a permanent chief executive in the coming weeks.
It is thought he will be in post for several months.
Regional Officer for the Royal College of Nursing, Paul Gardner, said the college hoped Mr Morton could help bridge the “gulf” between staff at the trust.
First published at 13:11, Thursday, 15 March 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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