An NHS hospital has been accused of posing a continuing risk to patients by “covering up” leadership failures, including not properly investigating the deaths of two babies.
Dr Max Mclean, chairman of Bradford Teaching Hospitals trust, has quit in protest at the conduct of the trust’s chief executive, Professor Mel Pickup, after no action was taken over serious concerns about her performance.
In a blistering resignation letter, Mclean said he “cannot, in good conscience, work with a CEO who has fallen so short of the standards expected of her role that there is a genuine safety risk to patients and colleagues”. He is calling for senior national NHS figures to establish new leadership at the trust, and has written to the head of NHS England to share his concerns about Pickup, who has been in post since 2019.
Mclean told The Times there were parallels with the Lucy Letby scandal, when management ignored the concerns of whistleblowers. “Patients are at risk, babies are at risk, and there could be avoidable deaths unless there is a change of leadership,” he said.
The former detective chief superintendent who has chaired the trust since 2019, raised nine serious issues about Pickup’s performance, which he said were confirmed by an independent investigation that concluded last month.
However, the trust’s board met on October 2 and decided there would be no further action against Pickup, leaving Mclean with “no option” but to resign and speak publicly.
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Source: The Times, 10 October 2023