A senior council officer has been appointed “interim recovery director” of a troubled clinical commissioning group in Merseyside.

Mike Wyatt will take on the new role at St Helens CCG, while continuing as strategic director of people’s services at St Helens Council.

The appointment will “further develop closer integration between the local authority and the CCG”, a CCG statement said.

Professor Sarah O’Brien, the CCG’s chief nurse, has been appointed interim clinical chief executive, following the departure of Professor Steve Cox last month.

The statement said the council and NHS England were involved in the recruitment process.

Geoffrey Appleton, lay chair at the CCG, said: “The two new appointments made by the CCG truly shows that the CCG and local authority are working collaboratively to ensure the borough of St Helens receive the best possible health and social care services.”

The CCG was rated inadequate by NHS England in July due to concerns over its finances and planning.

It also hit national headlines in August by proposing to freeze all non-urgent referrals to secondary care for four months. The plans were dropped a few days later but several other rationing measures are still being pursued.