Troubled East Lancs hospital trust names temporary boss

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

RESPECTED ‘troubleshooter’ has been drafted in as temporary chief executive of East Lancashire’s struggling hopsital trust.

Patient champion Russ McLean hopes the appointment of Jim Birrell, a former chief executive of Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, will be the start of a ‘new era’ at the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General hospitals.

During a 10-year tenure at Aintree, Mr Birrell led the trust’s successful application for Foundation Trust status, while the organisation was highlighted for its ‘lower than expected’ death rates.

Since 2011 he has held interim CEO positions at hospital trusts in Leicester and North Stafford. And according to the Health Services Journal he was paid £1,250 a day while working as director of delivery at the Birmingham and Solihull primary care trusts in the six months to March 2012.

Russ McLean, chairman of the Pennine Lancashire Patient Voices Group, said: “He’s obviously a proven troubleshooter so this is brilliant news for patients.

“It’s going to need someone that’s very dynamic to turn the place around and I hope this is the start of a new era. It’s important that we all get behind our hospitals.”

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust did not respond when asked for details of Mr Birrell’s salary package.

His appointment as interim CEO comes after Mark Brearley stepped down from his £165,000-a-year job last month.

The trust had been heavily criticised under his leadership and placed in ‘special measures’ in the summer, which prompted some campaigners to call for his resignation.

He initially said he had no intention of quitting, but the announcement of his departure came several weeks later. However, ELHT refused to state whether Mr Brearley had resigned, whether he had left voluntarily, and whether there was a financial settlement.

Director of finance Jonathan Wood, who has been acting CEO, will now support Mr Birrell as deputy chief executive.

As reported last week, the trust has already recruited a permanent chairman to replace Hazel Harding, who resigned last year, although the individual is yet to be named.

Comments (2)

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8:50pm Sat 4 Jan 14

mavrick says...

whilst the appointment of a CEO is a welcomed I dont accept the wording like dynamic, etc, is anybody worth £1250 per day. My point is the job just needs someone with common sense and bit of nounce on the finance front,
If we educate people properly then they can use the appropriate service.
whilst the appointment of a CEO is a welcomed I dont accept the wording like dynamic, etc, is anybody worth £1250 per day. My point is the job just needs someone with common sense and bit of nounce on the finance front, If we educate people properly then they can use the appropriate service. mavrick
  • Score: 3

5:09pm Wed 29 Jan 14

kapalski says...

Yeah, he was also paid £185,000 for 6 months work at Leicester 2012/13 why is he so deserving of this money? For 6 months work you are seriously taking the ****, how much is he on now.

What did he acomplish at these places in 6 months???
Yeah, he was also paid £185,000 for 6 months work at Leicester 2012/13 why is he so deserving of this money? For 6 months work you are seriously taking the ****, how much is he on now. What did he acomplish at these places in 6 months??? kapalski
  • Score: 1

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