Second top NHS trust officer resigns

Croydon Guardian: Brian Phillpott is to step down at the end of April Brian Phillpott is to step down at the end of April

The chairman of the NHS Trust in charge of Croydon University Hospital (CUH) has announced he is stepping down, less than a month after the resignation of the trust’s chief executive.

Brian Phillpott, who has been chairman of Croydon Health Services NHS Trust for six years, will step down on April 30, leaving an interim appointee in the two most senior positions at the trust.

Chief executive Nick Hulme resigned on February 29.

The double resignation followed a Care Quality Commission report published on February 6 revealing concerns with the CUH in areas including, staffing and the care, welfare of the people who use services and handling complaints.

CUH is also under threat of losing its A&E and maternity ward as part of the Better Services Better Value review of health provision across south west London, with one of four hospitals set to lose those services.

Councillor Mike Fisher, leader of Croydon Council, said: "These changes at the top of our NHS services have come at a very difficult and awkward time but that doesn’t detract from the fact a town of this size cannot be without an A& E and Maternity services. It is inconceivable.

"As the local authority we are not prepared to sit by and see residents and patients in Croydon suffer as a result of that have happened inside the NHS and its bureaucracy."

News of Mr Phillpott’s resignation was leaked by MP for South Croydon Richard Ottaway on Friday March 23.

Mr Ottaway, who was briefed confidentially about the decision, told The Croydon Guardian: "Croydon Health Services now has no chairman or chief executive but temporary appointments will be made from May 1.

"I hope the new appointments will reflect the incredible importance of healthcare in Croydon and that new talented people with energy and vision will be appointed to lead the trust forward."

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Mr Phillpott issued a statement on Monday March 26 but declined to be interviewed.

He said: "The timing is right for me to step aside and allow for the appointment of a new chairman who will, with the newly appointed CEO, be able to lead the final drive for Foundation Trust status and the embedding of the governors.

"This crucial role is better undertaken by a chairman with six years in front of them rather than behind them."

Michael Parker, a non-executive at NHS London will take on Mr Phillpott’s role until a replacement is appointed.

An interim chief executive, John Goulston has also been appointed.

Mr Goulston is working as regional director of provider development at NHS London and will take over as chief executive in Croydon on an interim basis in May.

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