Hospital director resigns in protest

THE man responsible for the appointment of sacked Colchester hospital chairman Richard Bourne has resigned in protest, claiming local accountability has been undermined.

Roddy Ashworth

THE man responsible for the appointment of sacked Colchester hospital chairman Richard Bourne has resigned in protest, claiming local accountability has been undermined.

Jim Addison, the senior independent director at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, handed in his notice yesterday after Richard Bourne was fired from his role by regulatory body Monitor.

The move came just hours after Mr Bourne was removed from the post - as revealed in yesterday's East Anglian Daily Times - despite only recently being re-appointed to the role.

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Mr Addison, who chaired the appointment panel, said the sacking undermined the principles of local accountability underpinning the trust.

He said: “Yes, I have resigned from the board of trustees - I chaired an appointment panel on behalf of the governors to make a recommendation about the best person for the role.

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“I felt it was an open and transparent process and concerns about the trust from Monitor were considered by the appointment panel - they had all the information and Richard's response and they chose to appoint him.

“It seems to me that the local accountability that underlies foundation trust status has been removed and that was the basis of my resignation this morning.”

Mr Addison's resignation letter as a non-executive director of the trust said Monitor's decision was “neither necessary nor proportionate”.

Yesterday Monitor confirmed Mr Bourne had been sacked because of concerns about the trust's “failure to comply with healthcare standards; its failure to exercise its functions effectively, efficiently and economically; and serious and wide ranging concerns as to overall governance and leadership”.

Monitor's executive chairman, Bill Moyes said: “We have taken this decision to ensure the trust has the Board leadership capacity to address our concerns.

“Ultimately this is about making sure the Trust is in a position to identify risks and challenges that affect patient services and then deliver an effective response.”

Sir Peter Dixon, chairman of University College London, will take interim control of the trust, which runs Colchester General and Essex County hospitals, on Monday.

Staff at the hospitals were yesterday sent an e-mail from Mr Bourne who thanked them for all their hard work.

It stated: “I was shocked by the decision of the Monitor board, given the evidence provided to them.

“Their view does not acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the staff at CHUFT who have all focused on the best interests of the patients.

“It is sad that Monitor did not acknowledge that the trust does not have any significant issues around infection control, hygiene and cleanliness or, indeed, finance.

“We all know there are still many things to improve.

“The trust did experience significant problems earlier this year but has made a strong recovery and is well-placed to face the coming winter pressures, as our successful building programme and recruitment of staff demonstrates.

“I was proud to be the chairman of a trust with such a great workforce and I appreciate all the help and support I have had from the staff over the last four years and wish you all well in the future.”

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