Croydon University Hospital boss pledges to stop staff in-fighting
The new chairman at Croydon University Hospital has vowed to end in-fighting among senior staff at the hospital trust.
Mike Bell was appointed interim chairman of the trust after Michael Parker's unexpected resignation last year.
In his first interview since starting the role on January 2, Mr Bell who was Vice Chairman at NHS London Strategic Health Authority, said his first three tasks would be to undertake a complete governance review, recruit a permanent chief executive of the hospital and set a timetable for Croydon to move forward to foundation trust status.
Concerns were raised about infighting and a lack of leadership at the trust following the loss of two chairman's in one year in addition to receiving two damning reports from the CQC.
He said: "Over a long period of time there have been questions about how well governed the trust is. There has been lots of tension between non-executive directors and executive directors and it can't go on.
"We need to find out what the issues are. There are lots of rumours and allegations - if they have substance lets get to the bottom of if, if there isn't lets move forward. I think I have the best people leading the governance review and we will make that review public."
Mr Bell said interviews for a new CEO would be taking place in the coming weeks.
The role is currently being carried out by John Goulston who took over as interim CEO when his predecessor Nick Hulme resigned last February, but Mr Bell denied speculation a decision to install Mr Goulston to the position permanently had already been made.
He said: "It is in the public domain he [Mr Goulston] has applied for the post, but there is no done deal. We have had 13 applications for the chief executive post, the decision really hasn't already been made."
Reflecting on Mr Parker's decision to step down he added: "I think it is fair to say all hasn't been sunlight and roses at the trust, and relationships have been a little strained.
"When Michael came to Croydon everybody was enthusiastic about how things were, sometimes things don't work out.
"Further information about why he resigned I don't know, I wasn't in the room when he had the conversation, but we are now looking at moving forward, getting the board fit for the future so we can move towards foundation trust status and give Croydon the first class healthcare it really deserves."