Former EDP and Mercury editor takes top role at Gorleston hospital

The former editor of the Eastern Daily Press and Great Yarmouth Mercury has been appointed the interim chairman of the James Paget University Hospital.

Peter Franzen OBE succeeds John Hemming who resigned from his position of chairman following increasing concerns over the quality of patient care.

Mr Franzen, of Loddon, was appointed non executive director of the Gorleston hospital in November 2010.

He has been recognised with numerous newspaper industry national and local awards including an OBE for services to journalism in 2005.

He said: 'In my time at the James Paget I have been struck by the talent, hard work and passion that staff have for the job of caring for patients.


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'I have no quibble with the CQC. They saw things that we didn't and it is up to us to put it right. My role is to build on the good work that has been going on to satisfy the requirements of the CQC, but more importantly to make sure that each patient in this hospital gets the high level of care they have every right to expect.

'A small number of elderly patients were not cared for in the way they should have been and we are very unhappy about that.

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'Dignity and respect for the elderly, no matter how complex their conditions, should never be compromised.

'I have no doubt, this is a good hospital where the vast majority of patients have nothing but praise for the staff and the way they have been treated both medically and personally.

'I believe we are already on the road to recovery, whatever the outcome of the third CQC report. The pace has been accelerated and much has been done since the CQC's last visit.

'Above all, we must not let what is going on distract us from putting the patients first.

'Like all NHS hospitals, we face challenging times ahead as we examine more efficient ways to deliver services, but patient care and safety will never be sacrificed.'

Meanwhile, lead governor Hugh Sturzaker said: 'I am pleased to announce that Peter Franzen OBE has been appointed interim chairman with immediate effect. He is fully supported by the other non executive directors of the board and the governors.

'In Peter we have a dynamic individual who is passionate about patients and health issues and I hope that everyone in the Trust will get behind him in his task of correcting the issues identified by the Care Quality Commission and restoring confidence in what is a first-class hospital.'

Chief executive Wendy Slaney added: 'I welcome Peter's appointment and I look forward to working with him in the interests of the patients and public we serve. Our staff work hard to deliver good care and we are all committed to improving any areas where we fall short.'

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