A former NHS Improvement director has been made chief operating officer of a cash strapped West Midlands trust.

Richard Beeken, a former delivery and improvement director for NHSI, began his role as chief operating officer for University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust on 15 May.

The trust was placed in financial special measures in March this year. 

Mr Beeken, under his role at NHS Improvement, was previously responsible for overseeing recovery plans at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust and was made interim chief executive at the trust in February 2017 for six weeks.

Prior to that he served as chief executive of Wye Valley Trust from 2014 to 2016.

NHS Improvement placed UHNM in to financial special measures in March 2017 following a severe deterioration in the trust’s finances.

According to most recent board papers the trust ended 2016-17 with a deficit of £27.8m, which is £28m worse than planned, and in February 2017 signed a contract worth £2.1m per annum with Price Waterhouse Coopers for a “financial improvement programme”.

The trust is not currently listed as one of the organisations participating in the national regulator’s “financial improvement programme” which pairs trusts with management consultants to improve their finances.

Paula Clark, chief executive of UHNM, said: “I’m delighted that Richard Beeken, our new chief operating officer (COO), has now officially joined the UHNM family.

“Richard brings with him extensive experience and enormous energy, and I am sure colleagues will find him hugely supportive and constructive as we move forwards.

“We have now recruited substantively to all our executive director posts so are in a strong position to support our divisional and clinical leaders to tackle the challenges ahead.”