Another trust head departs

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THE chairman of the under-fire health trust which runs Pinderfields Hospital has stepped down – just a week after its chief executive quit.

Ed Anderson’s exit from Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which is facing a deficit of almost £20m, was revealed last night.

NHS bosses said Mr Anderson had been planning to leave since last spring.

But he is the second key figure on the trust board to be replaced in seven days, amid mounting criticism of financial management at Mid Yorkshire.

Last Thursday, chief executive Julia Squire stepped down.

She quit following an independent review which showed the trust faces a deficit of £19.7m at the end of March. Mid Yorkshire is currently more than £15m in the red, its latest financial report shows.

The trust has also faced a public backlash against its controversial overnight closure of Pontefract A&E, after failing to recruit enough doctors to staff it.

Kathryn Riddle, chairman of regional health body NHS North of England, said in a statement: “Ed Anderson indicated to me last spring that he wished to stand down as chairman of the Mid Yorkshire trust due to his other commitments.

“I am most grateful to Ed for agreeing to continue in post since then so that a successor could be identified. I also greatly appreciate Ed’s significant contribution to the trust during his time as chairman.”

Mr Anderson will leave Mid Yorkshire on March 2. David Stone, who was chairman of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust for 10 years, will take over as acting chairman.

Ms Squire will be replaced by Stephen Eames, chief executive of County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, who will start in March in an interim role.

Chief nurse Tracey McErlain-Burns is currently acting chief executive. Ms Squire is set to start a new role with the NHS Confederation.

Following Ms Squire’s exit, council leader Peter Box, who has been calling for changes at Mid Yorkshire, claimed she had been made a “scapegoat”.

Speaking before the announcement that Mr Anderson was leaving, he called for further action to restore confidence in the trust.

Coun Box said: “While it was right that the chief executive should stand down, she has clearly been made a scapegoat. Her resignation is not sufficient to tackle the longstanding and deep-rooted problems of the trust.”

Mid Yorkshire is being forced to slash £60m from its budget over two years under government spending cuts, but has missed targets to save cash.

Department of Health bosses are working with the trust to help solve its financial problems.