Photo:  Sue Musson

Yankee Dandy Doodles off from Southport Hospital

The American woman who suspended Southport hospital’s Chief Executive a year ago is not going to carry on as Chair of the local NHS Trust.

It appears that Cheshire resident Sue Musson, who was only appointed as Chair of the Southport & Ormskirk NHS Trust for two years in November 2014, has not been re-appointed to the job. As yet, no replacement has been announced, leading to speculation that the Trust, which is heavily in debt and losing money, might be wound-up or taken over.

“With the issue of the four suspended senior Trust managers still ‘in the air,'” says Southport NHS spokesperson Councillor Tony Dawson, “the rudderless ship now appears to be likely to lose its helmswoman just as the next hurricane rolls in.”

The hurricane to which Councillor Dawson refers is the ‘NHS Transformation and Sustainability Review’ due to be completed in November, in which the major NHS service providers (hospitals to you and me) are battling it out to hold on to their share of Merseyside’s NHS provision and take services away from each other.

Besides being paid £30,000 per year, rather more than the £20,000 which was paid to past chair Sir Ron Watson, Ms Musson is the Managing Director of Firecracker Projects Ltd, a management consultancy business which specialises in

•improving Board effectiveness and teamwork

•identifying development needs of Chairmen, Non-Executive Directors, Trustees and Governors

•delivering governance workshops for Boards and Governors

•providing training for Nominations Committee members

•developing business strategy

•facilitating Board development events, national conferences and team-based events

•improving performance reporting and management.

Firecracker Projects Limited is based at Brookfield House, 29 Church Road, Lymm, Cheshire WA13 0QG; Phone  07931 983528



Other Firecracker entities control a large portfolio of residential property assets and are currently undertaking a number of residential development projects in the North West of England.

Ms Musson is also Managing Director of Firecracker Projects North West LLP which is a property development holding company with a multi-million pound commercial and residential portfolio. The company claims “a successful track record of transforming derelict apartment blocks and houses into high quality, affordable accommodation and providing commercial workspace.”  Ms Musson’s husband Mike is the Group Finance Director of these companies and also Musson Projects LLP is involved in commercial property development and investment,

Meanwhile, Southport Hospital Trust limps on having just lost its Chief Nursing Officer Simon Featherstone who has returned to work in Salford. It is headed on a succession of short-term contracts by Interim chief executive Kim Hodgson. It is not known precisely how much Ms Hodgson is being paid during this period but she received  roughly £95,000 for just two-and-a-half months’ work when she performed a similar role at Colchester hospitals Trust. That is equivalent to £450,000 a year – or more than three times the Prime Minister’s £142,500 salary.


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