New boss at troubled hospital trust

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A NEW interim chief executive has been appointed to run the hospital trust which manages the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI).

The appointment of Eric Morton, the chief executive of Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust since 2001, comes following the resignation of Tony Halsall from the troubled University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBFT) last month.

UHMBFT has faced criticism from NHS trust regulator Monitor and adult social care watchdog the Care Quality Commission, with problems including under-staffing of A&E at the RLI and deaths in the maternity unit at Furness General Hospital in Barrow.

Mr Morton, who joined the NHS in 1987 previously worked as finance director at North Derbyshire Health Authority and chaired the Healthcare and Financial Management Association.

In 2009, Mr Morton was also appointed as the interim chief executive of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

That trust came under the spotlight after the Healthcare Commission claimed that 400 more patients than would be expected died at Stafford Hospital from 2005-08 due to “appalling” emergency care.