Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust boss Stephen Eames to also run crisis-hit North Cumbria hospitals

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The chief executive of Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust has been given responsibility for running a crisis-hit NHS organisation in Cumbria.

Stephen Eames will become interim chief executive of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, while remaining in charge at Mid Yorkshire.

Pinderfields Hospital A&E

Pinderfields Hospital A&E

He will run both organisations after being asked to take up the new position by NHS bosses for a year, starting on Monday.

Mr Eames, who joined Mid Yorkshire in 2012, said: “I have thought long and hard about making this change, especially as so much has been achieved over the past few years.

“However, I feel I must support the wider NHS in taking up this very challenging role in Cumbria.”

His new role was announced as the Yorkshire trust seeks to speed up a controversial shake-up of its A&E departments.

Plans to centralise A&E care at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield could happen in September, instead of spring 2017 as planned.

Dewsbury’s A&E will become an urgent care centre treating minor ailments under the move.

Mid Yorkshire brought forward the plan after being warned by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) over low staffing levels in a report which rated the trust “inadequate” for safety last month.

Mid Yorkshire’s financial deficit is also forecast to reach £21.3m by the end of this financial year, £6.5m higher than planned, as all NHS organisations struggle with government budget cuts.

Mid Yorkshire said it eradicated a £38m “underlying deficit” and saved £50m over three years under Mr Eames’ leadership.

His time at Mid Yorkshire has also seen reduced mortality rates and infection rates among the lowest in the country.

Mr Eames said: “It has been an absolute privilege to work with everyone in the Mid Yorkshire health system over the last few years and to play a role in securing a long term future for local hospital and community services.

“I am immensely proud of what has been achieved and I would like to thank every member of staff for their hard work, support and commitment on behalf of our patients.”

Mr Eames will now be responsible for turning around the North Cumbria trust, which has been in special measure since 2013 after also being criticised by the CQC.

The organisation, which runs Carlisle and Whitehaven hospitals, is reportedly facing a £40m deficit by the end of 2015-16.

Mr Eames’ role there will be to address “on-going, and longstanding, performance and financial issues alongside securing a long-term and sustainable clinical strategy”.

Mr Eames said: “I will divide my time between North Cumbria and Mid Yorkshire and I would welcome everyone’s support in enabling these changes to take place.”