Eric Morton was appointed interim chief executive at Mid Staffordshire foundation trust on 5 March - the week after Martin Yeates resigned from the post. Mr Yeates had joined the trust in 2005.

Mr Morton said one of his major challenges was the reputational fallout from the report.

Monitor appointed him and interim chair David Stone because, it said, the trust faced a ”crisis of public confidence”.

Mr Morton said: ”There is no doubt that a report that raises these sorts of concerns is going to have an impact. We need to get much closer to our local community.”
He said emergency care had been getting better since January last year.

”The Healthcare Commission now recognises there have been substantial improvements.”

They include the recruitment of 100 nurses and more than 30 doctors and £750,000 spent on improvements to the accident and emergency department.

He said: ”We are not being complacent - it is important the organisation focuses on next year.”

Substantial further investment is planned on recruitment, equipment and improvements.

Mr Morton also remains chief executive of Chesterfield Royal Hospital foundation trust.