WORKFORCE Debt-laden Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Foundation Trust has appointed a new director of finance.

Caroline Walker, currently chief operating officer at Loughborough University, will join the trust on April 1.

She takes on the role from Chris Preston, who announced plans to relocate to Australia last year.

Ms Walker has worked for a number of NHS trusts in her career which dates back to 1982.

They include University Hospitals of Leicester Trust; Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Trust; Barts and the London Trust and Leicester Mental Health Services Unit.

Peterborough interim chief executive Peter Reading, said: “Caroline has an excellent track record in university and NHS finance, which is very good news for the trust as we continue with our drive to make significant savings and work more efficiently while still maintaining the quality of care for our patients.”

The trust revealed last year it expected to require “external financing” to help with its huge deficit.

The troubled trust, which built a new hospital under one of the most costly private finance initiative deals in NHS history, has racked up budget of deficits totalling nearly £100m over the last two years.

Board papers said: “At the end of October, the trust has positive cash balances however as has been forecast in prior months, the trust expects to require external financing at the end of January 2013.”