THE FORMER chief executive of NHS England Sir David Nicholson KCB, CBE has been appointed interim chairman of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust by NHS Improvement.
Sir David will start his new role on Monday and replaces Caragh Merrick who resigned last week, 20 months after taking up the job.
He retired from his post in March 2014 after sustained criticism of his handling of the Mid Staffs hospital scandal in 2005 when Sir David was briefly head of the local strategic health authority when the first serious concerns emerged, although he was not directly criticised.
However he was criticised repeatedly after the publication of the Francis report in 2009 for inadequate oversight of mid-Staffs, with his powerful pressure for targets and financial performance identified as a possible cause of the problems.
Michelle McKay, chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “His knowledge and understanding of the challenges we face in this Trust and across the wider health and care system will, I am sure, be enormously helpful to our efforts to secure safe, high quality hospital services for the people of Worcestershire, as well as the work we are doing to move to a position of sustainable financial balance.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mark Yates, who stepped up to the role of acting Chairman following the departure of Caragh Merrick, and will continue in his Non-Executive Director role with us.”
Ian Dalton, chief executive at NHS Improvement said: “This is a trust that still faces many challenges, and I am delighted we have someone of Sir David’s calibre coming on board to help address those.”
“David brings huge expertise at both national and regional level. I know he is absolutely focussed on improving patient care, and looking forward to getting underneath some of the difficult issues to see what positive changes can be brought about.
“This is David’s local health and care system. He understands the landscape and the improvement journey the trust is on. We will be working closely with him and the wider team to ensure that the trust is able to improve quickly and sustainably.”
Sir David has spent the last four years working in healthcare in 15 countries.