A RECRUITMENT campaign to find a new chief executive for York Hospital has failed to find a suitable replacement.

Former chief executive Patrick Crowley announced his retirement from York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in May.

A subsequent recruitment drive to find a replacement went to the final panel interview stage last week but concluded without appointing a candidate.

A source has told The Press that some doctors at York Hospital are concerned about the failure to find a new hospital boss and felt they had been kept in the dark about the process.

However, the trust has said it was simply unable to identify a suitable candidate “who fits exactly with the needs of our trust and our wider health economy”.

The hospital is facing deepening financial woes with mounting requirements last year to save more than £25 million. Mr Crowley had warned that 2017/18 would be its most difficult year.

A spokesperson for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “Despite the excellent field of candidates and despite the efforts and contributions of our staff and managers, we were unable to identify a candidate for the role of chief executive who fits exactly with the needs of our trust and our wider health economy. On this basis we decided not to make an appointment after the selection process last week.”

In the meantime deputy chief executive Mike Proctor is acting as an interim chief executive.

He has been described by the hospital as “an extremely experienced director [who] is well placed to continue to lead the organisation until we are able to appoint.

“The day-to-day running of the hospital has and will continue as usual.”

The ultimate decision for the appointment of a chief executive lies with the chair of the hospital trust, Susan Symington.

The job advert for the chief executive role sought a person who would make an impact as a leader at a time of change in the “health and care economy” and who would bring “reserves of personal energy for the challenges ahead”.