THE troubled trust behind Kidderminster Hospital has appointed controversial former NHS boss Sir David Nicholson as its interim chairman.

Sir David retired from the role of NHS England chief executive four years ago - on a £1.9m pension pot - after campaigners called for his resignation over failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

But NHS Improvement, which appointed Sir David to his new role, said his 'huge expertise' and 'focus on improving patient care' will help to address ongoing challenges faced by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

NHS Improvement chief executive Ian Dalton said: "This is a trust that still faces many challenges, and I am delighted that we have someone of Sir David’s calibre coming on board to help address those.

“David brings huge expertise at both national and regional level.

"I know he is absolutely focussed on improving patient care, and looking forward to getting underneath some of the difficult issues to see what positive changes can be brought about.

"Making sustainable quality improvements and getting the trust onto a stronger financial footing will be priorities, working closely with the chief executive and wider leadership team.”

“This is David’s local health and care system. He understands the landscape and the improvement journey the trust is on.

"We will be working closely with him and the wider team to ensure that the trust is able to improve quickly and sustainably.”

The trust's former chairman, Caragh Merrick, announced that she was stepping down in April, after less than two years in the post.

Michelle McKay, chief executive at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said Sir David's knowledge and understanding of the trust's challenges would be 'enormously helpful'.

She said: "I am delighted to welcome Sir David Nicholson as the new interim chairman of our Trust.

“His knowledge and understanding of the challenges we face in this trust and across the wider health and care system will, I am sure, be enormously helpful to our efforts to secure safe, high quality hospital services for the people of Worcestershire, as well as the work we are doing to move to a position of sustainable financial balance."

Since retiring in 2014, Sir David has worked in healthcare in 15 countries.