STRUCTURE: A husband-and-wife team of former primary care trust leaders have been appointed as interim chief executive and turnaround director of the huge and troubled Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust.

The trust’s staff were informed of the appointments this morning. They follow the announcement last month that Maggie Boyle, its chief executive for more than five years, was leaving.

It is a time of huge instability at the trust, which had an income of £1bn in 2012-13 and is being closely performance managed by the NHS Trust Development Authority. It has faced financial and performance problems and has not been able to become a foundation trust.

A new medical director, nursing director and chief operating officer have joined the trust in the past two months.

Chris Reed, who was chief executive of the NHS North of Tyne PCT cluster until it was abolished in March, will be interim chief executive at Leeds from Monday. He has previously been Gateshead Health Foundation Trust’s chief.

Karen Straughair, chief of South of Tyne and Wear PCT cluster until March, has been appointed as Leeds recovery director.

The statement to staff says Ms Straughair is currently “working for the [NHS] Trust Development Authority”. It says both she and Mr Reed will report to trust chair Linda Pollard, who joined in February.

The announcement to staff says: “Chris will be with the trust for the next few months until the appointment of a permanent chief executive has been completed and they can take up the post.”

It says: “Karen will be delivering a number of improvements the NTDA and our trust board have approved which need to be delivered over the next few months.”

The announcement continues: “Chris and Karen are a husband-and-wife team.”

It quotes both of them as saying: “We are very pleased to be joining the trust and look forward to working with staff and trust partners on a challenging agenda over the next weeks and months.”

Last month Suzanne Hinchliffe joined the trust as chief nurse and Yvette Oade as medical director, while Mark Smith was due to start work as chief operating officer this month.

During the final three months of 2012-13 the trust missed the target for 95 per cent of accident and emergency patients to be seen within four hours, acheiving only 90.1 per cent.

It ended 2012-13 with a surplus of £1.5m. It had originally planned a surplus of £8.6m.

Leeds has also this year seen its children’s heart surgery services suspended for a short time, after NHS England expressed concern over their safety.

It was announced earlier this year that plans for a national reconfiguration of children’s heart surgery, which would have seen Leeds’ unit close, would be reworked in response to a critical review by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.