Tony Gallagher, the new chairman of the NHS trust that runs mental health services in Wiltshire, has pledged that the organisation will be transparent.

An independent review into the governance of the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) earlier this year found that the trust was “centralist in style, with improvement required in clinical engagement and poor relationships with stakeholders".

Following the report, which was commissioned by the Strategic Health Authority, there were changes in the board leadership with chairman Felicity Longshaw resigning in April and the retirement of chief executive Laura McMurtrie last month.

In May NHS Wiltshire announced it was considering retendering mental health services due to concerns it had about AWP, while NHS Bristol is consulting on plans to tender for a city wide mental health service.

Mr Gallagher, of Swindon, had been interim chairman of AWP but this week was appointed as chairman of the trust. He has been a non-executive director of the trust for four years.

He said: “We have started to change the way the trust is run and the way it relates to staff, service users, carers and other stakeholders. As an organisation we want to be transparent, outgoing and fully engaged with the communities with whom we work.

“I see my appointment as recognition of the positive steps taken in the past few weeks and faith in my ability to lead the trust through this challenging period.

“We want to ensure that clinicians are at the forefront of service change and that we reflect the needs of different local areas. Above all we will ensure that service users and carers are at the centre of what we do and that staff are enabled to make a real difference in the care we provide.”