Hospital Chief Resigns Over 'Unacceptable' Waiting Times

Investigation launched after eight patients waited over 12 hours for beds

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West Mid’s Chief Executive has resigned over unacceptable waiting times at hospital’s A&E department.

In a statement, Chairman Sue Ellen said, "After careful consideration, Tara Donnelly has stepped down from her post as Chief Executive of West Middlesex University Hospital.”

She went onto say that, “The quality of care that our patients receive is our number one priority. Two weeks ago, the hospital faced heavy demand for its services due to winter pressures. Eight patients waited longer for admission than we consider acceptable and on this occasion we did not deliver the expected standard of care.

“The Trust also failed to follow the correct protocol in escalating within the sector and reporting to the Strategic Health Authority (SHA). This denied other Trusts in the sector and the SHA the opportunity to provide assistance.

“Tara, as leader of the organisation, recognised the seriousness of this and therefore decided that the most appropriate course was for her to step down. The Board, with regret, accepted her decision.”

The Board has launched an internal investigation into the incident which saw eight patients having to wait more than 12 hours for beds.

The SHA is also conducting an independent review of emergency admissions procedures at the trust.

Meanwhile Dame Jacqueline Docherty has been appointed as Interim Chief Executive has been appointed. She will be joining the board on February 23rd from King’s College Hospital, where she held the role of Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Operations.

February 5, 2009