MANAGEMENT at the troubled trust which runs Colchester’s NHS hospitals has been bolstered after criticism of its leadership.

Colchester Hospitals Trust has appointed four medics as divisional directors, who will oversee care at Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital.

The trust was ordered last summer to improve its clinical leadership by the Keogh Review, which investigated hospitals with very high death rates.

The aim was to give doctors, nurses and other health experts more influence over the running of services.

Trust chairman Dr Sally Irvine said: “The trust’s vision is to create a clinically-led organisation and these new posts will help achieve that.

“The divisional directors are all members of the trust’s board of directors.

Each has a truly influential role embracing quality, service delivery, business planning and the leadership of multidisciplinary teams.”

Consultant physician Dr Charles Bodmer is divisional director of medicine, consultant paediatrician Dr Angela Tillett is divisional director of surgery while Dr Gillian Urwin, a consultant microbiologist, is divisional director of cancer and clinical support services.

Amanda Hallums, a former deputy chief executive and director of nursing at Basildion and Thurrock Hospitals Trust, will become divisional director of women’s and children’s services from February 4.

The quartet will spend around two days week on their divisional duties, while carrying out their clinical commitments for the rest of the week.

The Keogh review highlighted managers were often reporting to different directors, with not enough nurses involved in running the trust.

During the Keogh review, whistleblowers alleged they were being bullied to alter patient records to hide the fact cancer waiting targets were being missed.

The findings were published in a Care Quality Commission report shortly after the divisional director roles were first advertised.

Since the report was published, Monitor has placed the trust in special measures while chief executive Dr Gordon Coutts and finance director Mike Baker have resigned.

Yesterday, Kim Hodgson started work as interim chief executive, replacing acting chief Sue Barnett, who will leave the trust in March.

After the cancer scandal Denise Gale, a former chief executive at the Mid Anglia Cancer Network, was appointed to the new post of cancer programme director.

A series of managerial vacancies have also been filled in recent weeks.