Professor reappointed as hospitals’ chief

Prof.  Eileen Fairhurst re-appointed chairman of the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (S)
Prof. Eileen Fairhurst re-appointed chairman of the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (S)

The woman charged with overseeing work to take local hospitals out of special measures has been re-appointed

Professor Eileen Fairhurst will be chairman of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust for a further four years.

She was first appointed in February 2014. Since then the Trust improve sufficiently to be taken out of the ‘special measures’ imposed when concerns were raised by a whistle-blower about the then policy of opening extra beds, resulting in patients being left on chairs and trolleys.

Prof. Fairhurst was also involved in appointing of a new chief executive at the Trust. Kevin McGee took over from Mark Brearley.

Her own re-appointment was confirmed by the NHS Trust Development Authority, an independent body charged with supporting NHS trusts and ensuring that services offered to patients are of the highest possible quality.

As a professor in public health at the University of Salford she had chaired several large, complex public sector organisations before her appointment in East Lancashire.

Her involvement in the NHS began in 1976 as a member of a Community Health Council and she developed interests in acute, specialised mental health and primacy care trusts. She was made an MBE in recognition of her work.

“I am delighted to be reappointed as chairman of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust,” she said. “I have enjoyed the past two years working with the committed staff to ensure that the people of East Lancashire receive the best services and I will continue to drive forward the plans to work collaboratively with our partner organisations.”