Stoke & Staffordshire

New Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust chairman chosen

A new chairman has been chosen to head Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

The trust's council of governors approved the appointment of Prof John Caldwell.

A spokesman for the trust said informal discussions were held with more than 100 potential candidates, with four candidates interviewed.

Sir Stephen Moss, the current chairman will step down at the end of January. Prof Caldwell's appointment will come into effect on 1 February 2012.

Sir Moss said earlier this year that after three years as the trust's chairman the time was "right" to step down.

'Appalling standards'

Pauline Deakin, chairman of the appointments and appraisals committee, said: "We have every confidence in Prof Caldwell and we are sure that with his background he has the experience and focus needed to take on this role."

The trust is responsible for Stafford Hospital, which was the subject of a public inquiry which ended earlier this month.

It was set up after a Healthcare Commission report in 2009 found "appalling standards" of care.

The inquiry's chairman, Robert Francis QC, is expected to publish his findings next year.

'Very pleased'

The hospital has also faced problems trying to recruit staff leading to the accident and emergency (A&E) department being closed at night.

The unit will close between 22:00 and 08:00 GMT for three months while staffing levels are addressed.

Prof Caldwell, who is Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Liverpool, said: "I am very pleased to accept appointment as chair of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

"The agenda is a challenging one and I look forward to working with all our stakeholders in the community and our staff to ensure a bright future for the essential services the trust provides."

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