New head takes over NHS trust

Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

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

Eric Morton, 60, who earlier this month retired from his post as chief executive of Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, has been appointed by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBFT).

The trust’s previous chief executive, Tony Halsall, resigned last month.

UHMBFT has faced criticism from NHS trust regulator Monitor and adult social care watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC), 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 before becoming chief executive at the Chesterfield trust in 2001.

In 2009, he was 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.

See the Lancaster Guardian (15-03-12) for full story.