SaTH chairman replaced as external trust brought in to help struggling Shropshire hospitals
Senior staff from the Midlands' largest NHS trust are being brought in to help run Shropshire's beleaguered main hospitals.
The accountant chairman of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) is also stepping down and being replaced by an experienced doctor as NHS bosses attempt to improve standards in Shropshire.
Ben Reid is leaving the role five months earlier than planned and being replaced by Dr Catriona McMahon from University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), a teaching trust which will be paid to provide targeted support to SaTH.
SaTH, which runs Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, has been in special measures since 2018.
It is the subject of a review into its maternity services that has seen more than 1,800 patients come forward with complaints and police are investigating whether there should be criminal action over its maternity care.
SaTH has now entered into an "improvement alliance" with UHB, which runs the biggest hospital in the Midlands - Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham - along with Good Hope, Heartlands and Solihull hospitals.
It comes after Amanda Pritchard, chief operating officer of NHS England and NHS Improvement, confirmed last week that an "improvement team of unprecedented scale" had gone into the trust tasked with turning it around.
Under the new alliance, UHB will not have responsibility for the day-to-day operational management but will address the governance and leadership issues needed to improve services at SaTH, NHS bosses say.
The alliance, which has been facilitated by NHS Improvement in the Midlands and comes into place on September 1, will be time-limited and will set up a "committees in common" structure to deliver a "rapid quality improvement plan".
Mr Reid, a qualified accountant, was appointed as SaTH chairman in January 2018 after 30 years at the Mid-Counties Co-operative and was due to hold the post until January next year.
He is said to have chosen to have stand down and is being replaced by Dr McMahon, a non-executive director and senior independent director at UHB with more than 16 years experience in pharmaceutical medicine.
Dr Nigel Sturrock, regional medical director for NHS Improvement in the Midlands, said: “The challenges facing SaTH are complex and substantial.
"To achieve the improvements that patients rightly expect, the trust needs the strong support of the surrounding system.
"As a leading teaching hospital with outstanding leadership, UHB are well placed to provide the wide range of expertise needed to address some of the key patient safety and quality challenges faced by SaTH.”