THE man appointed to oversee Colchester’s hospitals has promised to use his 33 years of experience in the health service to ensure they rapidly come up to scratch.

Mark Davies was this week appointed by regulator Monitor as the hospitals trust’s improvement director to ensure it quickly recovers from the cancer scandal.

Monitor placed the trust in special measures after a Care Quality Commission report revealed Colchester General Hospital staff had been pressured into changing cancer patient records to hide missed targets.

In his first interview, given yesterday after a council of governors’ meeting at Colchester General Hospital, Mr Davies said his network of contacts were on hand to help hospital bosses.

He said: “My explicit role is to be the eyes and ears of Monitor in Colchester and ensure the trust delivers the action plans it signs up to, and on time.

“But I see the role as broader than that.

“Essentially, I am here because we all want services in Colchester to improve. We all want patients to have the best services they possibly can.

“My role is to help, support, encourage and advise, to do anything I can to help improve the care and treatment as quickly as is reasonably possible.”

Mr Davies went into the health service after completing a business studies degree.

His last appointment was at the helm of the Imperial College Healthcare hospitals trust.

He said: “I have spent 33 years in the health service, and have been chief executive of seven hospital trusts, including three teaching hospitals in London.

“I have long experience of running hospitals and the reason I have taken on this role is to share that experience and bring it to bear in Colchester.

“However, I am not the surrogate chief executive, or the chief behind the chief.

“I don’t have operational responsibility.”

Mr Davies declined to be drawn on what improvements and changes were needed, saying he had only been in the role two days.

The council of governors’ meeting was also the first attended by new interim chief executive Kim Hodgson.

She spoke only to introduce herself and deferred to outgoing interim chief executive Sue Barnett for items of business.