Devon

Health boss Paula Vasco-Knight suspended over finance claims

Dr Paula Vasco-Knight
Image caption Paula Vasco-Knight was suspended in 2014 after being accused of nepotism for recruiting her daughter's boyfriend to a job at Torbay Hospital

A health boss previously criticised for her treatment of whistleblowers who had concerns of nepotism has been suspended over "financial allegations".

London's St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said the claims against acting chief executive Paula Vasco-Knight related to a previous employer.

Dr Vasco-Knight was suspended from Torbay Hospital in 2014, accused of recruiting her daughter's boyfriend.

She resigned in May 2014.

Dr Paula Vasco-Knight has been acting chief executive at St George's for two weeks.

The trust said: "The trust board has asked the medical director, Professor Simon Mackenzie, to fill Dr Vasco-Knight's role.

"The allegations are financial in nature and relate to her work at a previous employer.

"The trust is not in a position to comment further at this stage."

A spokeswoman for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust told BBC News: "So far as we are aware these allegations do not relate to any previous role held at South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust."

Dr Vasco-Knight was the chief executive of Torbay Hospital but, in January 2014, a tribunal found Claire Sardari and Penny Gates had been victimised as a result of whistle-blowing about their concerns.

In May 2014, the then South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said she had decided to relocate to the north-west of England for "family reasons".

Jonathan Wood, director of finance at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, where Dr Vasco-Knight worked as a consultant for a year until July last year, said: "The Trust was satisfied with the work she carried out.

"The allegations do not relate to East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust."

Dr Vasco-Knight is yet to comment.

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