THE troubled NHS foundation that provides acute hospital care for people living in Ludlow and south Shropshire has a new interim boss.

Paula Clark will be joining the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust, which runs Shropshire’s two acute hospitals, as interim chief executive from Monday.

“Paula brings with her a wealth of experience,” said Den Reid, chairman of the trust.

“She has been a chief executive in the NHS for 20 years and has featured on Health Service Journal’s top chief executive list in the last three years.

“I look forward to working with Paula and I am sure she will receive a warm welcome and support from teams across the trust when she starts with us.”

The trust has been under huge pressure because of concerns about the levels of service.

A particular issue has been maternity care that has been blamed, in part, on a shortage of midwives,

The maternity unit at Ludlow Hospital has been closed since last year for births but continues to provide other services to expectant mothers and post-natal care.

An independent review into a series of baby deaths in the trust was ordered after families came forward with concerns about their care.

In 2017 Jeremy Hunt, when he was Secretary of State for Health, ordered an investigation into maternity care relating to 23 cases at the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust.

The trust is responsible for the running to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

The performance of the trust has been a major concern for the Defend our NHS in Shropshire Group led by Gill George from Ludlow.