Scarborough's NHS Trust chiefs step down

Published Date: 19 June 2008

By John Ritchie Scarborough Evening News

SCARBOROUGH Hospital boss Iain McInnes has suddenly quit as chief executive just over a year after taking up the post.

The Evening News has learned that finance director and deputy chief executive Sandy Hogg has also stepped down, along with Jason Brine, the non-executive chairman of the trust board's audit committee.

Mr McInnes, who was brought in following the suspension and subsequent resignation of former boss Alison Guy, has issued a statement saying he is to take up a new post within the NHS.

Questioned by the Evening News about allegations that a report had been signed off by Mr McInnes without going through the proper procedures, he said: "These are serious allegations and they will be fully investigated by the trust's audit committee, with the process overseen by the Strategic Health Authority."

With regard to Ms Hogg's resignation, he replied: "We have noted her resignation."

Mr McInnes, who will be staying on as interim chief executive until a replacement can be found, said there had been "real progress" in addressing historical problems.

He added: "Scarborough and North East Yorkshire NHS Trust has faced serious challenges in recent years.

"Last year the trust achieved financial balance creating a small surplus and achieved the majority of its key performance targets to the credit of all our staff.

"I shall be moving on to a new position but I'm pleased the trust is now heading in the right direction with a clear plan to provide high quality care for local people while addressing historic financial issues.

"We have to build on that successful year to move forward as an organisation and ensure that in partnership with our commissioning PCTs we can deliver clinically safe and appropriate care for our local population within affordable resources.

"Staff at the trust are working closely with NHS Yorkshire and Humber to continue this work and I wish them all the very best."

A trust spokesperson added: "It is appropriate the trust now looks to identify individuals who can offer the leadership required to take the trust forward."

Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill said he had "a lot of respect" for both Mrs Guy and Mr McInnes but they had both faced "massive problems" in trying to sort out the budget and the clinical aspirations.

Last year a row erupted over plans by the bosses to cut 600 jobs but this was subsequently whittled down to 50.

The difficulties go back to 2002 when a highly critical report by the Commission of Health Improvement led to the resignation of the then chief executive Bob Crawford.

Trust chairman Richard Grunwell, who oversaw the appointment of Mrs Guy that year, himself departed in 2006.

Bernard Flynn was appointed finance director in 2003, when the health trust was already millions in debt, but he was suspended from duty in July 2006 along with Mrs Guy and they later resigned their positions.