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Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride to head biggest trust

By Victoria O'Hara

Northern Ireland's chief medical officer has been described as the "right man" to run the troubled Belfast Trust.

After the top post remained unfilled for eight months, Dr Michael McBride was revealed as the new interim chief executive of Northern Ireland's largest healthcare trust.

Dr McBride will continue as Chief Medical Officer but his salary will not increase. He will begin the job on December 8.

Health Minister Jim Wells said Dr McBride, a former medical director at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital, is a "natural leader and gifted strategist".

Dr McBride, who will now manage around 22,000 employees, will also have responsibility for key ministerial priorities for the trust, including improving the performance of unscheduled care services and elective care.

One senior RVH source said the move has received the backing from the majority of senior clinicians and staff. "The job itself put off a lot of people not just within Northern Ireland but UK-wide," the source said. "The problem is, it was a poison chalice."

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