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Right Arrow Trust exludes four members of staff from work following whistleblowing complaints
04 August 2015 at 11:47
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust (the Trust) have today (Tuesday 4 August 2015) excluded from work four members of staff, the Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer, Human Resources Director and Deputy Director of Performance. The exclusions follow an independent external investigation into three separate whistleblowing complaints received by the Trust.
 
No aspect of the whistleblowing complaints or investigation related to issues of patient care or safety.  
 
The four employees are excluded whilst an internal investigation is conducted. Exclusion from work is not a disciplinary sanction but is a holding action pending the completion of an investigation.
During the investigation the Trust will be unable to comment further as it relates to both employment matters and an ongoing investigation.  
 
The decision to exclude the four employees was unanimously agreed by the Chair and the six non-executive directors on the Trust Board with support from the NHS Trust Development Authority.
 
Sue Musson, Chair of the Trust said: “In response to the three whistleblowing complaints made to the Trust and the subsequent independent external investigation by the Good Governance Institute it has been necessary to exclude three senior executives and one other employee.
 
“I want to stress to our patients, their families and the public that no aspect of the complaints, the investigation that has taken place and the exclusion of the four employees are related to issues of patient care or patient safety.  
 
“This action will not affect the healthcare services provided by the Trust to our patients.
 
“An internal investigation will now begin in line with our disciplinary policy.
 
“With immediate effect Ann Marr, Chief Executive of St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospital NHS Trust and Gaynor Hayles, Associate Director of Nursing at the NHS Trust Development Authority will be assisting the trust.
 
“Ann will be providing leadership within the Trust in the Accountable Officer role on an interim basis. Gaynor will be supporting Ann in this role, overseeing a variety of functions including that of Chief Operating Officer, again on an interim basis. Both Ann and Gaynor will be continuing with their current roles whilst supporting the Trust.
 
“Ann comes with a strong track record in running hospitals in the North West.  We are pleased to be able to have someone of Ann’s calibre as an experienced and long-standing Chief Executiveto support the other members of the Executive Management Team in the day-to-day running of the Trust. 
 
“Sheila Samuels will work with the Trust to provide Interim Director of Human Resources support in the short term whilst investigations are ongoing. Sheila is an experienced health and local government sector professional, this has included working as an Executive Director in the NHS covering governance and human resources."
 
“Whilst this is a serious employment issue for the Trust, our priority is, and remains, providing quality healthcare in hospital and the community to the 258,000 people across Southport, Formby and West Lancashire whom we serve.”
 
Ann, Gaynor and Sheila will join the existing executive director team of Damian Reid our Director of Finance, Rob Gillies Executive Medical Director and Simon Featherstone Director of Nursing, Quality and Risk.
 
 
ENDS
 
Issued by Kimberley Rushton, Senior Communications and Marketing Officer, 
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, kimberley.rushton@nhs.net 01704 705061
 
 
Notes to editors:
 
1.    Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust manages Southport and Formby District General Hospital and Ormskirk and District General Hospital, and is responsible for many community healthcare services for adults in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire. We also provide sexual health services across Sefton and West Lancashire. The Trust employs 3,472 staff. In 2014/15, we saw 270,141 outpatients; treated 59,808 inpatients; made 280,831 home visits in the community; supported the birth of 2,747 babies; and attended to 110,620 urgent care cases.
 
2.    Ann Marr was appointed Chief Executive of St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in January 2003. Previously she was Chief Executive of Liverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Trust. Ann has 30 years’ experience of working in the NHS.