Whistleblower resigns from NHS trust after being investigated for misconduct over public criticism
A COUNCILLOR has resigned as an NHS
Governor after they launched an investigation into his misconduct after he blew
the whistle on bloodstained chairs at Grimsby hospital.
Councillor Matthew Brown (Lab, Croft
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Baker) has resigned from his post as North East Lincolnshire Council's (NELC)
representative on the Council of Governors for the Northern Lincolnshire and
Goole Hospitals (NLAG) NHS Foundation Trust.
Tony Hunter, chief executive of North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC)
officially accepted the resignation this afternoon - although Mr Brown is not
relinquishing his role as a councillor.
Mr Brown decided to quit the trust
after it announced it was investigating him for misconduct when he blew the
whistle over bloodstained chairs in the A & E department of Grimsby's Diana
Princess of Wales hospital.
Dr James Whittingham, chairman of the trust, complained that Mr Brown thought
it was appropriate to "publicly criticise" the trust and take an
"unauthorised photograph" - while Mr Brown believes they should
investigate the real problem - the horrific state of the seats in A & E.
In a leaked email to NELC leader
Chris Shaw and Mr Hunter, sent last night, he offered his resignation "with a
heavy heart", and called the investigation "a waste of valuable public money".
News of the dispute was announced as
Gary Walker, a former chief executive at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust,
broke a gagging order to voice concerns about public safety at the hospital.
Lawyers of the trust then told Mr
Walker he would have to repay £500,000 paid to him in a settlement – a move
which has now been slammed by Government Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Mr Brown has also refused to be
gagged by the trust and has vowed to continue to campaign for proper healthcare
standards for the people of North East Lincolnshire.
Speaking after the resignation, he
said: "My personal policy is to do everything to the best of my ability and I
feel that I can't do that on the Council of Governors if, whenever I make a
criticism, the NHS try to clip my wings."
NLAG NHS Foundation Trust, who are
investigating Mr Brown for misconduct, are themselves being investigated
because of high mortality rates at Grimsby Hospital.
It was announced following a
high-profile report which revealed "the appalling and unnecessary suffering of
hundreds of patients" at Stafford Hospital.
Mr Brown added: "The trust seem to be
more concerned with suppressing whistle blowers than actually addressing the
genuine concerns about standards in our hospitals.
"This investigation into my conduct
is a great waste of public money which is extremely valuable with
ever-shrinking budgets and would be better invested in providing frontline
"I feel I can serve the people of
this area better as a councillor than if I am not bound by the shackles of
being part of the trust – which makes no sense."