FINANCE: Senior strategic health authority figures are to take up key posts at one of England’s most financially-troubled trusts.

Finance and performance director at NHS South West Bill Shields is to take up the post of chief financial officer at Imperial College Healthcare Trust in London.

The trust announced Mr Shields’ appointment alongside that of Kevin Jarrold, the chief information officer for NHS London and programme director of the  London programme for IT. Mr Jarrold has been appointed chief information officer at the trust.

Mr Shields said: “I am extremely pleased to be joining Imperial. It is not only one of the largest organisations in the NHS, but renowned for its excellence in translational research and clinical outcomes. I appreciate this is a critical time for the trust and look forward to bringing my expertise and experience to bear on the challenges that lie ahead.”

The trust had a £40m gap between income and expenditure in 2010-11 and its last board papers included documents arguing that it shouldn’t have its accounts qualified for the financial year, on the basis of whether it was a “going concern”.

The report said: “Entities with total net liabilities are considered as going concerns unless the Department of Health determines otherwise. Neither the DoH, nor any other body, has determined otherwise for ICHT. It is not anticipated that the auditors, in their consideration of their opinion on the annual accounts, will raise any question with regard to the preparation of the accounts on a going concern basis.

“Going concern is evidenced by the inclusion of financial provisions for ongoing Trust services in published documents and by continuing significant capital investment and the signing of SLAs with PCTs for NHS service income before the start of the year.”

The final accounts, after their Deloitte audit, will be submitted to a public board meeting in July.

The two appointments from SHAs follow that of Mark Davies as chief executive, himself appointed from NHS London where he was in chair of provider development.

He replaced Professor Steve Smith who also ran the medical faculty at Imperial College.