King’s Lynn hospital governor resigns with fierce attack on bosses

GV of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital , King's Lynn

GV of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital , King's Lynn

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Staff morale at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) “seems close to rock bottom” and millions of pounds have been wasted on consultants, according to an ex-governor.

Peter Clery, from Sutton Bridge, says he has resigned from the hospital’s governors’ council so he can speak out about what he sees as the ongoing poor management of the trust.

Peter Clery at his Sutton Bridge Home ANL-150712-084059009

Peter Clery at his Sutton Bridge Home ANL-150712-084059009

But officials maintain his concerns have been investigated and found to be unfounded.

They also point out that Mr Clery decided to stand down following the completion of an investigation into alleged misconduct by him.

Mr Clery was elected as council member for south-east Lincolnshire and the rest of England in 2013.

He said: “Over the 20 months I have been a governor, there have been several things I have not been happy about.

“I am determined to bring these things out into the open so there can be a proper discussion on how the hospital should be run.”

Among his main concerns is the level of morale among staff, which he said had been shown to be lower at the QEH than at other hospitals in the region.

Mr Clery said: “Staff morale seems close to rock bottom.”

He believes insufficient steps are being taken to address the problem and fears the hospital has developed a poor reputation for its treatment of staff.

But the trust points out that the Care Quality Commission’s most recent inspection, which saw the QEH come out of special measures in September, had highlighted its improved morale and culture.

Mr Clery is also critical of payments totalling around £4.5 million made to consultancy companies over the last two years.

He said around £2 million had been spent by Monitor, the body which regulates foundation hospital trusts like the QEH, while three other organisations have received around £2.5 million between them.

Officials have admitted the hospital’s deficit for the current financial year is presently higher than forecast and reducing it to Monitor’s target of £13.3 million at the end of the year, £1.6 million lower than last year, will be challenging.

However, they insist the difficulties they have are similar to those of many other trusts.

But Mr Clery said: “It hasn’t worked. Nothing has changed.

“There are ways to bring QEH back to the happy, successful, non-deficit hospital it once was but, at present, this is not happening.”

Dominic Chessum, the hospital’s head of communications and engagement, said yesterday: “During his time as a Governor Mr Clery made numerous and frequent complaints and allegations about the Trust and its officers.

“These complaints were dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner and discussed and debated by the Governors’ Council. On occasions where investigations were undertaken, it was concluded these allegations didn’t warrant any action.”

Mr Clery’s resignation also follows the conclusion of an investigation into several complaints about his conduct.

The issue had been due to be considered by the governors’ council, but will not now be because of his decision to go.

The trust says it cannot comment on the case, but confirmed Mr Clery had resigned after its completion.

But Mr Clery said he resigned instead of being sacked by his fellow governors, adding: “It’s a put-up job to get rid of me.”