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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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North Cumbria hospitals trust chairman retires

The chairman of the trust in charge of north Cumbria’s hospitals has retired.

Mike Little photo
Mike Little

Mike Little, who has been at the forefront of the redevelopment of the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, stepped down from his role on Thursday.

The NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) has appointed Ian Gordon as interim chairman of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Mr Gordon was previously chairman of NHS Cumbria, the county’s primary care trust, a position he took on in October 2011.

He joined the NHS Cumbria board in March 2007, following a career as a civil servant including with the Department of Energy in the 70s and as head of the Scotland Office, in support of the Secretary of State for Scotland for the UK government, following devolution.

Mr Gordon said: “It has been a tremendous privilege to work at NHS Cumbria with a group of inspirational GPs who are now assuming responsibility for the way health services are commissioned in Cumbria.

“I am looking forward to my new role at North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust and helping the organisation deliver the patient-focused improvements which it is making as it becomes part of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.”

Mr Little led the trust for the past four years, and spoke of his hopes for the future of the Carlisle and Whitehaven hospitals under the guiding hand of Northumbria.

He said: “I have been delighted to lead this trust over the last four years. The redevelopment of THE West Cumberland Hospital has been a great achievement, securing the funding that we needed from the Government.

“I am pleased I can now retire knowing that everything is ready to provide a new state-of-the art healthcare facility for West Cumbria and I will look forward to seeing the opening in 2015.”

Mr Little continued: “I will miss the staff and the excellent people I have worked alongside, but I retire knowing there will be many benefits for patients in North Cumbria now that we are being managed by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – a world-class hospital trust.

“I would particularly like to thank the board for their support and hard work.”

Ann Farrar, interim chief executive for the North Cumbria trust, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mike for all his hard work on behalf of North Cumbria, and in particular, with the redevelopment plans for West Cumberland Hospital.

“He has been a devoted and consistent chair.”

Mary Dowling who is an existing member of the NHS Cumbria Trust Board, will become the acting chair of NHS Cumbria.

She was a director of human resources in NHS hospital trusts for more than 10 years, and now works as a freelance human resources adviser.

Her new role as acting chair of NHS Cumbria will involve completing the closedown of the organisation at the end of March.

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