East Lancashire hospitals' chief executive stands down

This Is Lancashire: East Lancashire hospitals' chief executive stands down East Lancashire hospitals' chief executive stands down

THE chief executive of East Lancashire’s troubled hospital trust has quit following a barrage of criticism from campaigners and NHS inspectors.

Mark Brearley, who has been in charge of the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General since 2011, yesterday announced he was ‘standing down’ with immediate effect, but no reasons were given for his departure.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust [ELHT] was placed in special measures in July, after NHS chiefs made wide-ranging criticisms of the way the organsation had been run.

At the time, Mr Brearley said he had no intention of quitting because he ‘still had a job to do’.

Then in October, Mr Brearley faced calls to resign after another report by the Care Quality Commission revealed serious failings in the emergency ward at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

But he again resisted and told the Lancashire Telegraph: “I’ve still got a job to do to make sure the improvements are carried through.”

One of those who called for Mr Brearley to resign in October was Russ McLean, chairman of the Pennine Lancashire Patient Voices Group.

He said: “Mark was responsible for the things that continued to happen on his watch and I think for patients and the public this was the only thing that will draw a line under everything, and perhaps we can all move forwards now.

“I did call for Mark’s resignation but it wasn’t a personal thing so I feel mixed emotions. In my opinion he wasn’t a figurehead for the organisation and I think it needs a strong and experienced character to come in.”

Jonathan Wood, the trust’s finance director, has taken the £165,000 top job on an interim basis, becoming the ELHT’s fifth chief executive since 2008.

The trust has been following a detailed improvement plan since the summer, with the NHS Trust Development Agency providing oversight.

The agency released a short statement saying Mr Brearley had decided it was time for ‘someone else to take up the leadership challenge’, adding when pressed that it had not told him to step down.

The Lancashire Telegraph asked ELHT if Mr Brearley had resigned, whether he had left voluntarily, and whether there would be been a financial settlement, but the trust refused to answer these questions.

Gordon Birtwistle, Burnley MP, said: “I would urge the hospital to tell us the reason for this. If it’s personal reasons then that’s between him and his family. But if he’s gone for not being up to the job then we should know.

“I’m surprised because I thought he was managing the reorganisation and was committed to making improvements.”

Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “I’m sorry that he’s leaving and I wish him well for the future. I hope that when a new chief executive and chairman are appointed the organisation is able to look forward to a more stable future.”

Former Burnley MP Peter Pike, who also called for Mr Brearley to quit in October, said: “I am convinced it was inevitable that he had to stand down. At the end of the day he was the chief executive and the last report was not the first condemnation the trust had had.

“Previous chief executives have received large payouts, which I do not think has been right, and I hope any payoff is kept to the absolute minimum.”

Acting chairman of ELHT, Martin Hill, said: “The whole trust board would like to thank Mark for his hard work and dedication over the last two-and-a-half years, during which time he has overseen some real improvements in the care we provide for patients. “Over the last few months in particular, Mark’s leadership in responding to the Keogh Review has been critical in developing our action plan to respond to those areas where we all know we need to improve. We wish Mark all the very best for the future.”

Former chairman Hazel Harding announced her resignation on the day ELHT was placed in special measures in July, citing ill health, with deputy chief executive Lynn Wissett announcing her retirement the same day.

Mr Brearley was yesterday unavailable for comment.

Comments (15)

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9:34am Sat 7 Dec 13

neville davies says...

I hope the Telegraph will be using the Freedom of Information Regulations to obtain the details of the exit package.It is a scandal that a tax funded organization can chose to "decline to comment" Did Mr. Hunt not say recently that these matters will be open and transparent?
I hope the Telegraph will be using the Freedom of Information Regulations to obtain the details of the exit package.It is a scandal that a tax funded organization can chose to "decline to comment" Did Mr. Hunt not say recently that these matters will be open and transparent? neville davies

9:55am Sat 7 Dec 13

full moon says...

Only last week we were told that the figures of an expected deaths rate, was now within acceptable rates. And this week the head honchio announces he`s off with no explanation!! Some thing don`t add up to me.
Only last week we were told that the figures of an expected deaths rate, was now within acceptable rates. And this week the head honchio announces he`s off with no explanation!! Some thing don`t add up to me. full moon

10:29am Sat 7 Dec 13

Sue Lee says...

So now there isnt a Chief Executive or a Chairman! Who appoints these people? These last few have lived in Yorkshire, Liverpool, Cumbria, miles away.
Are they appointed locally or from afar?
Surely they can find some decent leadership locally? We would prefer a local man or woman?
So now there isnt a Chief Executive or a Chairman! Who appoints these people? These last few have lived in Yorkshire, Liverpool, Cumbria, miles away. Are they appointed locally or from afar? Surely they can find some decent leadership locally? We would prefer a local man or woman? Sue Lee

11:29am Sat 7 Dec 13

woolywords says...

It is apparent, from reading the Keogh Review findings,
(you can read it here, http://tinyurl.com/q
ekdzru)
that there needs to be a root and branch reorganisation within the hospital, where inherent problems are not being properly addressed by middle management incompetence or intransigence. They are either wilfully or otherwise, feeding the board with information that puts themselves in a good light, rather than highlighting serious matters that need addressing with some urgency.
Of particular concern is the fact that a phlebotomist is not available around the clock. How is anyone supposed to make an accurate differential diagnosis of any condition, without the supporting blood work being done?
Again, a pharmacy department, that runs virtual shop hours, when patients requirements are not being considered to be, paramount. Instead, there is a culture of manic cost cutting without regard to the consequences.
In other areas, a simple checklist procedure could be enabled, to ensure that certain actions have been taken, rather than the assumption that it has been done. Whilst it's not rocket science, the simple procedures that NASA uses, and airline pilots copy, can be applied. (Has the patients relative been informed as to the change of ward? - check and initial.)
The next Captain of this ship needs to someone with a forceful nature, capable of driving through the necessary changes to implement procedures for improvement. And, when faced with middle management muddling, getting rid of them and having some people in their place, with a 'will do' attitude.
The HR department needs to get it's finger out and start recruiting staff that are willing to stick at the job, instead of them being trained at our expense, then going 'off the books', only to return as agency staff, at a higher cost to the service.
The Board should implement a timetable for improvement actions to be completed by, so that anyone failing, can be dismissed for poor performance, legally. Slipshod work practices should be seized upon and remedied, before it has a chance to become de rigueur.
In short, it needs a dedicated team, to work from the front door, all the way through the system, addressing any problems to full resolution, instead of writing yet another report about how something has failed and that action needs to be taken. We now know where all the faults lay, the question is, how long do we have to wait, before something/anything is done, to fix it?
It is apparent, from reading the Keogh Review findings, (you can read it here, http://tinyurl.com/q ekdzru) that there needs to be a root and branch reorganisation within the hospital, where inherent problems are not being properly addressed by middle management incompetence or intransigence. They are either wilfully or otherwise, feeding the board with information that puts themselves in a good light, rather than highlighting serious matters that need addressing with some urgency. Of particular concern is the fact that a phlebotomist is not available around the clock. How is anyone supposed to make an accurate differential diagnosis of any condition, without the supporting blood work being done? Again, a pharmacy department, that runs virtual shop hours, when patients requirements are not being considered to be, paramount. Instead, there is a culture of manic cost cutting without regard to the consequences. In other areas, a simple checklist procedure could be enabled, to ensure that certain actions have been taken, rather than the assumption that it has been done. Whilst it's not rocket science, the simple procedures that NASA uses, and airline pilots copy, can be applied. (Has the patients relative been informed as to the change of ward? - check and initial.) The next Captain of this ship needs to someone with a forceful nature, capable of driving through the necessary changes to implement procedures for improvement. And, when faced with middle management muddling, getting rid of them and having some people in their place, with a 'will do' attitude. The HR department needs to get it's finger out and start recruiting staff that are willing to stick at the job, instead of them being trained at our expense, then going 'off the books', only to return as agency staff, at a higher cost to the service. The Board should implement a timetable for improvement actions to be completed by, so that anyone failing, can be dismissed for poor performance, legally. Slipshod work practices should be seized upon and remedied, before it has a chance to become de rigueur. In short, it needs a dedicated team, to work from the front door, all the way through the system, addressing any problems to full resolution, instead of writing yet another report about how something has failed and that action needs to be taken. We now know where all the faults lay, the question is, how long do we have to wait, before something/anything is done, to fix it? woolywords

11:39am Sat 7 Dec 13

Michael@ClitheroeSince58 says...

I think most people know that a trip to hospital will almost lead to certain death these days, so it would be nice to have a smoking shelter to have that last smoke thank you.
I think most people know that a trip to hospital will almost lead to certain death these days, so it would be nice to have a smoking shelter to have that last smoke thank you. Michael@ClitheroeSince58

11:47am Sat 7 Dec 13

phil kernot says...

Sue Lee wrote:
So now there isnt a Chief Executive or a Chairman! Who appoints these people? These last few have lived in Yorkshire, Liverpool, Cumbria, miles away.
Are they appointed locally or from afar?
Surely they can find some decent leadership locally? We would prefer a local man or woman?
What happens is thay get ghosted round the country after the dust has settled ,,new job carring on regardless
[quote][p][bold]Sue Lee[/bold] wrote: So now there isnt a Chief Executive or a Chairman! Who appoints these people? These last few have lived in Yorkshire, Liverpool, Cumbria, miles away. Are they appointed locally or from afar? Surely they can find some decent leadership locally? We would prefer a local man or woman?[/p][/quote]What happens is thay get ghosted round the country after the dust has settled ,,new job carring on regardless phil kernot

11:49am Sat 7 Dec 13

shytalk says...

Hopefully they will now be able to concentrate less on performance figures and more on patient care.
Hopefully they will now be able to concentrate less on performance figures and more on patient care. shytalk

12:42pm Sat 7 Dec 13

vicn1956 says...

Which government appointed most of these administrators that have failed miserably?

They must have prised his grasping fingers off one by one!
Which government appointed most of these administrators that have failed miserably? They must have prised his grasping fingers off one by one! vicn1956

2:14pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Darchy66 says...

The gravy train ran dry? Let's hope they can spend time with the patients rather than the Admin.
The gravy train ran dry? Let's hope they can spend time with the patients rather than the Admin. Darchy66

2:41pm Sat 7 Dec 13

tonyisace says...

so he gets a cushy well paid job for a short while does nothing then leaves without a by your leave, we are daft for allowing such goings on,we all know managers know nothing about running a health service only business for profit and the two don't match
so he gets a cushy well paid job for a short while does nothing then leaves without a by your leave, we are daft for allowing such goings on,we all know managers know nothing about running a health service only business for profit and the two don't match tonyisace

4:12pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Pinky&theBrain says...

Whose the woman that runs the GP Out of Hours, is she local? She's a tough old cow, seems to have her head screwed on where patients are concerned and she's a nurse. Someone tap her on the shoulder FFS. Lets not have another import half wit from Yorkshire or Cumbria running our hospitals.
Whose the woman that runs the GP Out of Hours, is she local? She's a tough old cow, seems to have her head screwed on where patients are concerned and she's a nurse. Someone tap her on the shoulder FFS. Lets not have another import half wit from Yorkshire or Cumbria running our hospitals. Pinky&theBrain

7:28pm Sat 7 Dec 13

peely says...

No doubt now on his way with his boots well filled ,after a generous payout and gold plated pension ! I would just like to know how much it has cost the taxpayer in payouts over the last five years to get rid of all these gravy trainers . Absolutely scandalous , someone,s head should roll or persons should be prosecuted , is there no end to this ?
No doubt now on his way with his boots well filled ,after a generous payout and gold plated pension ! I would just like to know how much it has cost the taxpayer in payouts over the last five years to get rid of all these gravy trainers . Absolutely scandalous , someone,s head should roll or persons should be prosecuted , is there no end to this ? peely

10:54am Sun 8 Dec 13

davemcb says...

The truth is we need to fully privatise this death factory. The NHS does not work (check the international statistical comparisons) and the vested interests who run and are employed within the NHS are merely interested in their own remuneration packages. Yes, there are a few good people ... but there are a hell of a lot of callous, couldn't give a ****, staff at Blackburn - and many of them are our "angelic" nurses.
The truth is we need to fully privatise this death factory. The NHS does not work (check the international statistical comparisons) and the vested interests who run and are employed within the NHS are merely interested in their own remuneration packages. Yes, there are a few good people ... but there are a hell of a lot of callous, couldn't give a ****, staff at Blackburn - and many of them are our "angelic" nurses. davemcb

11:31am Mon 9 Dec 13

Izanears says...

At the moment our local health trusts are undergoing a major reorganisation which may result in mergers. Staff are being moved from pillar to post. Jobs are moved up to 60 miles away often on lower pay scales, or even part time.
People are being put into jobs for which they may have no experience or expertise. Moral is at rock bottom. Management speak similar to 'don't look upon losing your job as a setback, look on it as an opportunity to expand your potential' is the order of the day!
At the moment our local health trusts are undergoing a major reorganisation which may result in mergers. Staff are being moved from pillar to post. Jobs are moved up to 60 miles away often on lower pay scales, or even part time. People are being put into jobs for which they may have no experience or expertise. Moral is at rock bottom. Management speak similar to 'don't look upon losing your job as a setback, look on it as an opportunity to expand your potential' is the order of the day! Izanears

9:58pm Tue 10 Dec 13

raggedtrouseredphilanthropist says...

The old adage 'Rats always leave the sinking ship first' springs to mind!
The old adage 'Rats always leave the sinking ship first' springs to mind! raggedtrouseredphilanthropist

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