A CASH-STRAPPED NHS Trust has finally appointed a new director of finance - days after revelations it had overspent by a staggering £5.2 million in just one month.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust - which includes the Conquest Hospital in St Leonards and the Eastbourne District General - had the highest overspend in Sussex for the year ending April 2016 with a deficit of a whopping £48 million - £12 million more than planned.

It has now been revealed that in the first month of the new financial year - April 2016 - the Trust made a deficit of £5.2m, which was £0.5m worse than planed.

The main reason for this was having to seek 'third party support' to help with a backlog in the endoscopy department, and striving to meet its referral targets in orthopaedics.

Now the trust has announced Jonathan Reid is the new director of finance.

He was previously director of finance at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. and has worked in public finance for over 20 years.

In 2006, he joined Brighton and Hove Primary Care Trust (now Clinical Commissioning Group) as deputy director of finance, and some years later took up the same role at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Mr Reid joined Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust in 2011 as director of finance and has been deputy chief executive since 2014.

He said he is delighted to join the Trust.

He said: "I look forward to working hard with colleagues to achieve our aim of delivering safe, compassionate, high quality care that is clinically and financially sustainable for the people of East Sussex.

"I’ve already met many caring and committed colleagues in East Sussex across the trust and it’s truly a privilege to join this team."

He becomes the third key new member of staff to join the troubled trust, which remains in special measures after a damming inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

Dr Adrian Bull is the new chief executive and David Clayton-Smith the new chair.

Dr Bull said: "We are pleased to welcome Jonathan to the Trust’s Board of Directors. He brings a wealth of experience and a real passion for the values of the NHS which will be invaluable to the new leadership of the Trust in helping to meet the challenges we face over the coming years."