Hastings reaction to hospital trust boss’ resignation

Darren Grayson
Darren Grayson

Councillors have given their reaction after a top hospital boss announced he was stepping down.

Darren Grayson announced his resignation yesterday (Wednesday, July 15) after five years at the helm of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.

In recent weeks he has come under fire following a damning inspection report from the Care Quality Commission, which branded the Conquest Hospital and its sister site, Eastbourne DGH, as ‘inadequate’.

Councillor Michael Wincott, Labour’s health spokesman in East Sussex and member of East Sussex Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee, said: “This resignation is long overdue and I’m glad Mr Grayson has finally decided to stand down.

“Perhaps now our hospital can get the type of leadership that will acknowledge failings, take responsibility and improve the Conquest Hospital for all.

“I sincerely hope there will be no ‘golden goodbye’.

“When you’ve failed you should not be rewarded for walking away.

“One thing I do find utterly bizarre is that the chairman of the trust board Stuart Welling has had his contract extended by 12 months.

“He is as big a part of the problem as Mr Grayson was.

“It was his duty to monitor and scrutinise the leadership.

“He failed dramatically and he must go too.

“Disappointingly, throughout this whole fiasco, our local MP Amber Rudd has shown no leadership whatsoever and has remained completely silent on the issue.

“Neither a press release nor a condemnation of the trust management, nothing.

“It seems she has more important cabinet responsibilities to worry about than dealing with constituent matters.”

Hastings borough councillor Mike Turner said: “The resignation of the chief executive of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is long overdue.

“I have had numerous discussions with both the Care Quality Commission and Trust Development Authority during which I have urged them to remove not only the chief executive but also the chairman and the rest of the board.

“Let us not forget that the trust’s board also consists of two highly remunerated medical directors and an assistant chief executive that are also responsible for this debacle along with the rest of the board.

“The CQC can only make recommendations to the TDA whereas the latter appoints the chairman and can dismiss him/her along with the rest of the board

“On Tuesday (July 14) I received a letter from the Trust Development Authority informing me that they had extended the chairman’s contract for a further 12 months to enable him to recruit his successor.

“Quite frankly it is absurd to give this chairman that authority.

“I will be responding to the TVA correspondence to me by expressing my concern that they have failed to take appropriate measures to improve the management of the trust by allowing these other incumbents to remain in their posts.

“The trust board in its entirety needs to be removed and new management appointed forthwith otherwise it will only be a matter of time before the same problems at the trust resurface.”

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