December 6 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 6, 2013
A chief executive of a hospital has resigned just weeks after her trust was given a scathing verdict by government inspectors – so she can take up a new post as head of a national organisation.
Patricia Wright, pictured, reportedly told staff that her decision to step down from her position at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), in King’s Lynn, was one of the hardest decisions she has ever had to make –but decided that the offer to become chief executive of the Royal College of Physicians was too good to turn down.
The hospital came under severe criticism in August after inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said action was needed in nine separate areas including its complaints procedure, obtaining people’s consent to care and patients’ privacy, dignity and independence, which the CQC said was “not always respected”.
The report highlighted a number of problems including medicines not being stored properly, low staffing and poor record-keeping.
A day later the hospital trust received a second blow when the independent healthcare regulator Monitor said it failed to meet national accident and emergency waiting time targets for three consecutive quarters.
Mrs Wright said: “I recognise these are difficult times but in the time I have left here I intend to support the work of our very dedicated team so that I can leave the trust in good shape for my successor.
“I will be very sad to leave the trust as I remain passionate about it and its future. However, career opportunities such as this only come up very rarely and I felt I could not turn it down.”
Kate Gordon, chairman of the hospital’s trust, said: “I congratulate Patricia on her appointment to this important leadership role in one of the major medical colleges and wish her well in pursuing her career in a different but equally challenging area of health care.
“I have extended my personal thanks and the thanks of the whole trust to Patricia for the major contribution she has made to the work of the QEH through her unstinting commitment and leadership.”
Darren Barber, branch secretary for UNISON, said that members of staff were committed to ensuring the future success of the hospital regardless of who is in charge. “We’re working hard to ensure the best care is provided to people in King’s Lynn,” he said.
An interim chief executive will be put in place while a replacement is sought for Mrs Wright.