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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Early departure for north Cumbria hospitals boss

A new boss is being brought in next month to run north Cumbria's main hospitals.

Neil Goodwin photo
Dr Neil Goodwin

It means current chief Dr Neil Goodwin – on a daily rate of £1,750 – will step down from the role.

From August 13, the day-to-day performance of the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven will be managed by Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust, which is in the process of taking over North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust.

Staff were being told about the new interim management arrangements today.

The decision was made by the North Cumbria trust, subject to a legal agreement being signed.

Ann Farrar, chief operating officer for the Northumbria trust, will become interim chief executive.

Dr Goodwin will continue to advise the trust board on finalising the take-over process.

The announcement follows recent concerns from local MPs, who urged Northumbria to be fast-tracked into place. This came after staff at both hospitals flagged up “near miss” incidents and safety issues.

Hospital bosses maintained that both hospitals are safe.

Copeland MP Jamie Reed said this afternoon: “Whoever replaces Neil Goodwin must deliver what the community wants and expects with regard to hospital services at the West Cumberland Hospital.

“Our hospital has done all of the heavy lifting it can – there are no further efficiencies to find and the new chief executive should be aware of that.

“Working with the medical fraternity at West Cumberland Hospital and with this community must be the priority of the new chief executive.”

He said the new chief will not be “untouchable” and that the community would “insist on accountability”.

The takeover is expected to be completed in December.

Dr Goodwin said the change "can only benefit staff, patients and the people of North Cumbria."

Mrs Farrar said the move was a major step towards creating a unified organisation that would be "focused on delivering world-class care to the communities we serve."

And she added: "There are some excellent examples of good care delivered in both the Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital and we need to build on this and work with staff and the public to deliver the patient outcomes the local communities deserve.”

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