Leading political figures and campaigners today said challenges lie ahead for Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust after its chief executive announced she is stepping down.
Lyn Hill-Tout will be retiring from the trust at the end of May. She was appointed chief executive to replace troubleshooter Antony Sumara in June 2011.
Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy said today: “The challenge now for Stafford is to ensure we build on Lyn’s work and have a new chief executive in place who will dedicate themselves 100 per cent to the hospital and ensuring the outcome of Monitor’s review is a safe, sustainable hospital that delivers the services we need, including emergency, acute and maternity.
“Lyn has been a champion for Stafford since her appointment as chief executive.
“I pay tribute to her for the work she has done to help restore confidence in the hospital.”
Stafford Borough Council leader, Councillor Mike Heenan, said he was “disappointed” Mrs Hill-Tout was departing with the trust facing such a critical period in the next few months.
He said: “It will be a sad loss to the Mid Staffordshire Hospital NHS Trust. I think she has done a very good job in turning round the difficulties that there were.”
Mrs Hill-Tout joined the trust following a period of scandal at Stafford Hospital where 1,200 people are said to have died between 2005 and 2008. Robert Francis QC launched a full public inquiry. In February he delivered his long-awaited 1,700-word report into what went wrong at Stafford Hospital and how the NHS must be improved for the future.
Mrs Hill-Tout said: “It has been a great privilege to have had worked for the National Health Service and to have undertaken a wide range of rewarding roles in the most important and complex public sector service.
“Throughout my career I have worked with dedicated and talented people who have strived to provide the very best health care for their patients and communities and this is particularly true of my colleagues at Mid Staffordshire.”
Professor John Caldwell, chairman of the trust, said: “Lyn’s multiple contributions to MSFT, to the community of Staffordshire and to the NHS will be sorely missed.”