HEALTH bosses have come under fire for the controversial appointment of a new interim chairman to the troubled trust that runs Kidderminster Hospital.

Wyre Forest Labour called the hiring of Sir David Nicholson into the role at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust as a ‘bad appointment’ and called for it to be reversed.

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.

Both NHS Improvement, who appointed him to the job, and the Trust backed him to bring “expertise” to Worcestershire.

But Stephen Brown, of Wyre Forest Labour, said: “The appointment of Sir David Nicholson is a bad appointment which should be reversed immediately.

“Someone more suitable should be appointed who can command the trust of local communities.

“Why on earth have they given the job to someone responsible for what happened at Mid Staffs NHS?”

“Sir David Nicholson oversaw a failure to address the issues raised with him by families about the problems in the Mid Staffs NHS scandal.

“Campaigners claimed he was overly focused on finances at the expense of people’s lives, and patients died in consequence. He later apologised for his errors.

“Worcestershire already has a raft of problems it needs to solve and Wyre Forest Labour believes it needs more money, proper leadership, and not poorly considered novelty appointments.

“We are of the view that the problems at the Trust are as a result of Tory Government policy in deliberately underfunding in order to backdoor privatise our NHS.”

In his weekly column, Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier said he has called for an urgent meeting with Jeremy Hunt to explain why Sir David was appointed, although he added he shouldn’t be condemned for his past mistakes.

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.”

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'.