WORKFORCE: A financially troubled West Midlands trust is looking to recruit a permanent chief executive after a previous attempt failed to attract a suitable candidate.

George Eliot Hospital Trust, which came out of special measures in July last year, has been searching for a permanent chief executive since Kevin McGee left in September 2014.

The trust said it was unable to find a chief executive last autumn because “the first round of applicants proved not to have the specific experience identified as necessary to take the organisation forward”.

George Eliot Hospital

George Eliot Hospital Trust came out of special measures in July last year

Deputy chief executive Kath Kelly took on the role of acting chief executive following Mr McGee’s departure.

A trust spokeswoman said the NHS Trust Development Authority would have a role in the current recruitment process.

George Eliot is forecasting a £13.9m year-end deficit. The trust turned over £141.3m in 2014-15.

In 2011 the trust’s board agreed that the district general hospital provider had no future as an independent organisation and would have to merge, be taken over or run as a franchise by another body.

However, a tender process to run the trust was abandoned March 2014, and the trust is no longer looking for a strategic partner.

A trust spokeswoman said the decision to scrap the tender was “in recognition of the improvements in performance, clinical services and quality of care at the trust which led both [George Eliot and the TDA] boards to re-evaluate the process to secure a sustainable future for the trust”.

George Eliot was “buddied” with University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust when it was placed in special measures in July 2013 due to care quality concerns. The arrangement ceased when the trust left the regime last year.

The closing date for applications for the chief executive role is 23 October.