Troubled NHS trust replaces its chief executive

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A CRISIS-hit Yorkshire NHS trust has replaced its chief executive.

The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has had a tumultuous few months as a deficit of nearly £20m was revealed, its savings programme was strongly criticised by auditors and the new A&E ward at Pontefract was shut overnight because of staff shortages.

Last night the trust revealed Julia Squire is stepping down after five years to “take up a new opportunity” with the NHS Confederation. She 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.

Mr Eames said: “Having started my NHS career in Dewsbury over 30 years ago I am delighted to be joining the trust at this time. I am looking forward to working with all the staff and partner organisations in Mid Yorkshire to provide the best possible care and services for all our patients and to lead the trust in meeting the tough challenges that lie ahead.”

Trust chairman Ed Anderson said: “Julia has been a committed leader. She has delivered improvements and oversaw the opening of two new state-of-the-art hospital facilities for our patients.

“The trust board wishes Julia every success in her new role and expresses its thanks for her positive contribution.”

Tracey McErlain-Burns will act as interim chief executive until Mr Eames takes up his new role.

The trust, which moved into new hospitals in Wakefield and Pontefract a year ago and also runs Dewsbury’s hospital, has revealed pressures from increasing demand have left it with an estimated £19.7m deficit in 2011-12.

Last month it was ordered to pay out £4.5m to a senior doctor for sexual and racial discrimination.