Dr Paul Zollinger-Read, chief executive of NHS Cambridgeshire, has taken over as interim chief executive of NHS Peterborough, the PCT announced.

Dr Zollinger-Read will also continue in his role at Cambridgeshire.

He takes over from Sheila Bremner, who will be returning to her full time role as chief executive of NHS Mid Essex after six months working jointly at Peterborough.

Last week it was revealed at NHS Peterborough’s board meeting that a predicted £4.7m overspend for June had been reduced by more than a third to £1.278m.

The primary care trust ended the last financial year £12.8m in the red.

The PCT’s previous permanent chief executive, Angela Bailey, announced her decision to retire in January, saying she could not “shirk responsibility” for its growing deficit.

NHS Peterborough chair Derek Harris said: “I would like to thank Sheila for her hard work during her time as interim chief executive of NHS Peterborough and wish her well in her role back at NHS Mid Essex. In her short time here Sheila has worked hard to get NHS Peterborough back on track and develop a turnaround plan.

“The board and I welcome Dr Paul Zollinger-Read and Iook forward to working with him. I have every confidence that he will be able to provide strong leadership in the PCT through this challenging period. Paul has a wealth of experience through the already established GP clusters in Cambridgeshire and through his financial turnaround experience in other PCTs.”

Dr Zollinger-Read said: “Having worked successfully across two organisations in the past, my main priority will be to support NHS Peterborough to achieve financial recovery. I will also want to ensure that Peterborough is well supported to take forward GP led commissioning, as set out in the recent government white paper.”