ROTHERHAM hospitals have welcomed a new interim medical director.
Mr Donal O’Donoghue replaces acting medical director Dr David Hicks, who held the post at Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust for a year.
Dr Hicks stood in for Prof George Thomson, who spent six months away from work while still claiming his £185,000 salary.
A Rotherham NHS spokeswoman would not disclose the reason for Prof Thomson’s absence in November, saying it “would not be appropriate”.
He left Rotherham hospitals the same month, taking up the same position at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.
Mr O’Donoghue has previously acted as chief executive at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust and medical director at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.
Louise Barnett, chief executive at Rotherham NHS, said: “We are delighted to announce that Donal has joined the Trust.
“I am confident he will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to this role, supporting us to maintain high standards of patient safety, effectiveness and patient experience.”
Mr O’Donoghue will work alongside Dr Hicks, who takes up the part-time post as deputy medical director.
Ms Barnett thanked Dr Hicks for his support and contribution to the Trust over the last year.
Mr O’Donoghue said: “I look forward to meeting our patients over the coming weeks and delivering the Trust’s mission to improve the health and wellbeing of those who benefit from our services.”
A Rotherham NHS spokeswoman said the Trust has begun the recruitment process to find a permanent medical director.
The new chief is expected to be in post from spring 2015.