New boss at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust

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The man running the district’s troubled NHS trust while the boss is away wants four years to transform it into a better place for staff and patients.

Martin Barkley has voiced his determination to tackle staffing and financial problems at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust after being made interim chief executive.

He took over from Stephen Eames, who is temporarily running an NHS trust in Cumbria, on May 1.

Mid Yorkshire, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals, has a £20m financial deficit after a huge overspend on temporary workers.

The organisation has also struggled with low morale among its workforce.

Mr Barkley said reducing spend on agency staff was among his priorities.

He said: “In an ideal world I would like to be here for four years.

“I think my job is to support the staff and create the right conditions that enable the staff to give their best.”

The trust’s latest financial report shows savings of £26m need to be made this financial year.

Mr Barkley said agency workers had been needed because the trust was using around 120 extra beds to care for more patients with complex health problems than was expected.

He said: “I think we are now down to about 55.

“Good progress has been made but clearly there’s more to do.”

Mr Barkley, who previously worked at Tees, Esk AND Wear Valley NHS Trust, also revealed that accountancy firm Deloitte had been brought in to carry out a review of possible cost savings.

He said: “Given the level of financial challenges at this trust it seemed an appropriate decision to obtain whatever help we reasonably can to identify opportunities for reducing costs in a way that does not compromise patient safety.”

He also praised the staff he has met at Mid Yorkshire. Mr Barkley added: “The commitment and dedication of so many staff I have met is absolutely overwhelming, and humbling at the same time.”