Stoke & Staffordshire

Stafford Hospital trust chairman to step down

The chairman of the trust which runs Stafford Hospital has announced he will step down in January.

Sir Stephen Moss said it had been a "great privilege" to be part of helping the hospital, which is the subject of a public inquiry, "to get better".

The inquiry follows a Healthcare Commission report in 2009 which found "appalling standards" of care.

The Mid Staffordshire trust chairman said the hospital faced "significant challenges, not least financial".

'Making progress'

He added: "By the end of January 2012 I will have been at Mid Staffs for three years and I have decided that the time is right for me to step down."

Hundreds of patients died after serious failings in care during 2005 and 2008, the 2009 report found.

The Healthcare Commission cited a catalogue of failings, including cases where receptionists had been used to assess emergency patients.

The inquiry began last November and is investigating the role of regulators.

Sir Stephen, who will step down on 31 January 2012, said there was "clear evidence that Mid Staffs is making progress" and he was "confident of a good future for both Stafford and Cannock Chase Hospitals".

'Restore public confidence'

He added: "I would like to pay tribute to the courage and dignity of those local families who have been through difficult times over the last few years.

"The overriding task now is to restore public confidence in the hospital.

"I would urge the local community to get behind our staff.

"I would like to pay tribute to all the staff, volunteers, governors and voluntary agencies who work with us and thank them for their loyalty and commitment."

The process to appoint a successor has begun and the trust said it aimed to appoint a new chairman in early December.

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