Debt-hit NHS trust appoints three execs

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THREE new directors have been appointed to a Yorkshire NHS trust mired in financial crisis.

The trio - only one of whom is local - replace four non-executive directors who quit the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust as the scale of its problems unfolded.

The trust, which runs NHS services in Wakefield, Pontefract and Dewsbury, is likely to be £26 million in the red by March and is embarking on a major reconfiguration of services which will see full maternity services axed in Dewsbury and could mean the town’s A&E unit is downgraded.

The three are Pontefract councillor Patricia Garbutt, businessman Trevor Lake, of Halifax, and Rosie Valerio, of Sheffield, former director of human resource management at Sheffield University.

Interim chairman David Stone, who is also from Sheffield, welcomed the appointments.

He said: “They bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience which will be invaluable to us as we tackle our financial and service challenges.”

Wakefield Council leaders this week demanded major improvements in the management and performance of the trust.

Coun Garbutt, the council’s cabinet member for adults and health, said: “Wakefield Council has a major role to play in speaking up for the people of the district who have been let down in the past and I am determined to make sure that local views will be heard loud and clear as the trust moves into a new era.”

Campaigners will hold a meeting at Dewsbury Town Hall at 7.30pm next Wednesday in a campaign to prevent the town’s A&E being downgraded. Organiser Paul Wheelhouse said: “This battle cannot be won by a handful of politicians and therefore we hope to set up a community based grouping which can come together to protect local services.”

NHS chiefs will hold public meetings over changes to eye care, orthopaedics and neurological rehabilitation services in the district at Pontefract Town Hall on August 8 and Wakefield Town Hall on August 9, both at 6.30pm.