The new chief executive of scandal hit Mid Staffordshire foundation trust says he will help the organisation recover by being “open, honest and transparent”.
Antony Sumara was hired by foundation regulator Monitor after the trust failed to make an appointment. It previously interviewed only two candidates and neither had been chief executives before, HSJ understands.
Mr Sumara is known for leading trusts with large debts and deficits, including Bromley Hospitals trust, Hillingdon primary care trust and University Hospital of North Staffordshire trust.
Most recently he has been turnaround director at NHS London and chief executive of NHS Interim Management and Support.
Mr Sumara told HSJ: “It is quite flattering to be asked [to do the job], these things are a great challenge. My approach is to be quite open, honest and transparent.
“I will go and listen and make a judgement [about what needs to be done] once I’ve talked to people.
“I am quite good at that diagnostic process. The big issue is trying to restore some confidence for the public and staff.”
Mr Sumara said he expected to face similar challenges to previous posts despite Mid Staffordshire’s problems not being financial.
He said: “Quite often the symptoms are similar - lack of good leadership or poor governance or other system failures.
Four months after the Healthcare Commission’s report highlighted “appalling” standards at the trust, campaigners and MPs have continued to raise concerns and call for a public inquiry. The trust and Monitor had been under pressure to appoint a permanent chief and chair.
Former Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, chief Sir Stephen Moss, a non-executive at Mid Staffordshire, was appointed chair last week.
A follow-up report published by the Care Quality Commission this week said the trust had “begun to put in place the systems, resources and people” it needed to improve, but it was “early days”.
It said there were “critical areas that remain to be addressed urgently”, including use of equipment, bed management and recruiting more permanent nurses.