THE man set to take over the running of the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General hospitals has pledged to continue the improvements that have been made over the last year.

Kevin McGee, who is currently chief executive of George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, is set to take the top job at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust in September, after coming through an interview process last month.

The 52-year-old said: “I am really pleased that the CQC has recognised the progress that East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has made and has recommended the trust be released from special measures.

“This will prove to be a great morale boost for the management and staff at the trust, who should be commended for their ongoing efforts to ensure progress and improvement.

“I am really looking forward to joining the trust later this year, and to working with everyone there, and with our partners in the NHS and the community to take forward the plans for continued success.”

Despite also being in special measures, the Nuneaton-based George Eliot trust’s problems began several years before Mr McGee took over in 2011, and he has been credited with making significant improvements since then.

Mr McGee, a former accountant from the Wirral, was actually poised to take over Bolton NHS Foundation Trust last year, but opted to stay at the George Eliot to implement recommendations made by NHS chief Sir Bruce Keogh after a major inspection.

Professor Eileen Fairhurst, chairman of ELHT, welcomed his appointment saying it will be ‘great news’ for the trust and should mark ‘the beginning of what I hope will be a long period of stability’.