More changes at the top as management overhaul at Blackpool Victoria Hospital continues

Blackpool Victoria Hospital will today officially announce its new medical director, as a management overhaul continues.

He is Dr Jim Gardner, who qualified as a doctor in 1988 from Cambridge University and has previously worked as a regional medical director at NHS England.

Dr Jim Gardner is the new medical director at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Clifton Hospital in St Annes (Picture: Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

Dr Jim Gardner is the new medical director at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Clifton Hospital in St Annes (Picture: Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

He is deputy head of medicine and head of work-based learning for the School of Medicine at the University of Central Lancashire, which described him in a staff profile as an "experienced GP", and a non-executive director at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Vic, in Whinney Heys Road, and Clifton Hospital in St Annes.

He was appointed after "full and extensive interview processes" but has yet to start his new job, directors will be told at a meeting later today.

He will replace Dr Grahame Goode, who took on the role on an interim basis following the retirement of Prof Mark O'Donnell earlier this year.

It marks further change at the top at the under-fire hospital, which was recently told it 'requires improvement' by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

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The health industry regulator said standards need boosting in a number of key areas, including management, with Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard saying its report "highlights long-standing and deep-seated concerns over the quality of medical care and leadership in our local hospitals".

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But Mr Maynard said "steps are being made in the right direction" following a recent overhaul at the top.

Retired chief executive Wendy Swift has been replaced by Kevin McGee, who also remains in charge of hospitals in east Lancashire, a move which attracted controversy, while Peter Murphy has replaced Marie Thompson as director of nursing and quality.

Pat Oliver's role as director of operations has been filled by Berenice Groves (urgent and emergency care) and Janet Barnsley (planned care), while chairman Pearse Butler last year replaced Ian Johnson.

After qualifying as a doctor from Cambridge University and Guy's Hospital in London, Dr Gardner held a series of junior doctor posts in England and Australia.

He then trained as a GP and became a partner in a 7,000-patient practice in Kendal, Cumbria, and founded an out-of-hours GP surgery offering unscheduled care.

Dr Gardner later moved into management, leaving his partnership in Kendal to become medical director of the North Lancashire Primary Care Trust and then the Lancashire Primary Care Trust Cluster.

In 2013, he became Lancashire medical director for NHS England, before leaving to work for a private firm as group medical director.

Dr Gardner is also a trustee at St John's Hospice in Lancaster.