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Health trust chair resigns

PUBLISHED: 13:00 27 October 2008 | UPDATED: 12:06 03 July 2010

THE chairman of a health trust judged one of the worst in England announced his resignation on Friday.

Bernard Williamson, who the heads NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney board, said he hoped his departure would help the trust recover from the poor result in the annual health check.

THE chairman of a health trust judged one of the worst in England announced his resignation on Friday.

Bernard Williamson, who the heads NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney board, said he hoped his departure would help the trust recover from the poor result in the annual health check.

The Healthcare Commission rated the trust as “weak” in both quality of services and management of finances earlier this month - putting it in the bottom 5pc in the country.

Areas which failed included confidentiality of information, and keeping safe equipment such as peak flow monitors and blood pressure checkers, although the trust said policies have already been drawn up to address these points.

At the board's monthly meeting on Wednesday Mr Williamson vowed to put right what he referred to as “silly mistakes” in the administrative system which he believed led to the disappointing outcome.

But Mr Williamson, who has held the position of chairman since the trust was formed two years ago, said: “I feel that a change at this time will allow NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney the opportunity to move forward to address the issues raised by the Healthcare Commission. This will also allow me time to follow a number of activities in my personal life that have been subsumed by the fast pace and demanding changes in the NHS.”

Mike Stonard, chief executive of the health trust, said: “I am sure I speak on behalf of all the staff and non-executive members of the board when I say that I have been really sorry to learn about Bernard's decision.

“Always a strong advocate for health improvement, he has made an enormous contribution to the development of healthcare locally since 1998, particularly following his appointment to the chair of Yarmouth primary care trust on 1 April 2001 - and we wish him well for the future.”

He added: “The PCT is committed to learning the lessons arising from the annual health check results. Staff have already addressed many of the actions necessary to ensure compliance next year, and a feature of performance management that has now been instituted is early and increased intervention where measures are not going according to plan.”

Mr Williamson was the vice-chairman of the joint consultative committee for Norfolk Health Authority during the late 1990s, and is a member of Yarmouth's local sports partnership.

Vice-chairman Keith Crews has been appointed caretaker chairman with immediate effect. NHS East of England will advertise the position in November.

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