‘Fresh start’ at NHS trust

Pinderfields Hospital general view
Pinderfields Hospital general view

THE man charged with turning around the district’s under-fire hospital trust has pledged a fresh start.

Stephen Eames took over as chief executive of Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust this week - after a £20m budget deficit was revealed and services criticised.

He joins Mid Yorkshire, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals, after Julia Squire quit as chief executive. David Stone has taken over as trust chairman following the resignation of Ed Anderson.

Mr Eames said: “This is a fresh start. There are clearly things that need to be addressed and we are totally committed to making changes needed to improve the quality of care for people who use our services.”

In January, an independent review revealed the trust would be £19.7m in deficit at the end of March. The trust had predicted it would break even.

Mr Eames said financial monitoring had been tightened. He said: “The systems were not tuned in enough to pick up the deficit position. I don’t think that would happen now.”

Mid Yorkshire also came under fire over its controversial overnight closure of Pontefract A&E.

And it was criticised last December when a consultant was awarded £4.5m last year after being hounded out of her job.

A review of women’s services has also highlighted low morale and long hours among midwives and inappropriate behaviour by some consultants.

The independent report was followed by a warning from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that urgent improvements must be made in maternity services at Dewsbury.

In a report made public last Friday, the CQC raised concerns over a lack of one-to-one care, women waiting hours in a corridor before being seen and high levels of staff sickness.

Mr Eames said urgent measures were in place. He said: “I am confident that the improvements we have put in place will strengthen our maternity service at Dewsbury.”

Last April, the Express revealed how Mid Yorkshire faced £60m in budget cuts over two years. Mr Eames said £24m in cost savings would be made by the end of the current financial year and £23m saved next year.

Mr Eames said Mid Yorkshire was working on a timetable to reopen Pontefract A&E at night.