A private hospital in Midhurst saved from closure has appointed a new chief executive.

Brian Atkins has taken over the running of King Edward VII Hospital as work continues on the rescue package to keep it open.

Former chief executive Lin Way has resigned to set up her own business.

A consortium made up of Capio Healthcare UK and developers is planning to take over the hospital and continue to treat private and NHS patients.

The deal rests on planning permission being given to set up a new hospital next to the existing site and convert the old building into flats. The application is expected to be discussed by Chichester district councillors in June.

King Edward went into provisional liquidation in December after a rescue package with a US healthcare company fell through.

The trust which runs the hospital had debts of up to £8 million and a steady fall in NHS patients being referred there had added to its problems.

Liquidator BDO Stoy Hayward managed to persuade the NHS to refer more patients to the hospital to give it a £900,000 boost. This gave it more time to set up the new agreement.

Mr Atkins has been running the BUPA Gatwick Park hospital for the past ten years.

He said: "It is a great privilege to be now working with such a dedicated group of people who have experienced such uncertainty in recent times."