A TROUBLED hospital trust has announced the appointment of a new chief nurse.

Helen Thompson, a vastly-experienced nurse and midwife from Huddersfield, will act as interim executive director on the board of the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

She will lead the nursing and clinical standards agenda until a permanent director of nursing is found.

Helen is currently deputy chief executive and director of nursing for Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.

She will be seconded to Mid Yorkshire Hospitals on a part-time basis and continue in her role for the local trust.

Helen is an experienced director, having held director posts since 1991 and as an executive director since 1993.

She said: “I am pleased to be asked to help out during this challenging time.

“I will be working with the trust to ensure that patients get the high quality care they can expect from the NHS.”

Helen will work alongside Kate Harper who has been acting in the role on a short-term basis since the previous chief nurse left the trust in July.

Kate will become director of quality for the trust.

Stephen Eames, interim chief executive of Mid Yorkshire Hospitals, said: “We asked for support in this capacity because of Helen’s proven track record of driving service improvement and excellent care.

“She is a highly experienced and respected chief nurse and we look forward to her contribution.

“Helen will help strengthen our arrangements for ensuring our services consistently offer the highest possible standards of nursing care and patient experience.”

The process to find permanent recruits to the roles of chief nurse and medical director for the trust is currently under way.

The Mid Yorkshire trust runs Dewsbury and District Hospital, Pontefract Hospital and Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield.

The trust has been plagued by financial problems and has to save £24m by April 2013, but will still end the year with a £26m deficit.

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