STRUCTURE: Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust has named Stephen Eames as its permanent chief executive, following the approval of a major service change plan.

He was appointed interim chief at the financially troubled trust in March last year. Since then the organisation has developed plans for major service change across its three hospital sites.

A major reconfiguration plan for services across the trust’s three hospital sites was approved by the area’s clinical commissioning groups last month.

The plan would see most accident and emergency and acute services, and consultant-led maternity services, centralised at the trust’s Pinderfields site in Wakefield. Its hospitals in Dewsbury and Pontefract would focus on planned care, with some reduced urgent care.

The trust has long had serious financial problems, and had difficulty proving acute services over three sites. The trust began paying for a £311m private finance initiative scheme in 2010-11. It has faced in the past faced strong political opposition to service change, including from the Pontefract MP and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper. The current proposals appear to have support, though.

Mr Eames told HSJ he wanted to stay at the trust to oversee implementation of the plans, which will allow it to implement 24/7 cover in important services; continue to improve its performance; and continue to improve its financial position.

The trust, which has had serious financial problems for several years, is planning for a £24m deficit at the end of 2013-14. It is also expecting to receive £28m cash support, in the form of “permanent public dividend capital”, from the Department of Health.

Mr Eames was previously chief executive of County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust.

The reappointment of Jules Preston as the trust’s chair was confirmed by the NHS Trust Development Authority, which oversees non-foundation trusts, last month.