Guernsey health chief Carol Tozer quits after damning report

Dr Carol Tozer
Image caption Carol Tozer was in post as chief officer during "some difficult and public times" for the health department

The chief officer of Guernsey's health department has resigned a month after a report criticised her department's investigation into an Alderney doctor following patient deaths.

Dr Carol Tozer says she is returning to the UK to be with her family.

There were calls in Alderney on Wednesday for her to stand down over the case of Dr Rory Lyons, who was cleared of any wrongdoing.

The States' chief executive thanked Dr Tozer for her hard work.

Paul Whitfield said: "I wish to take this opportunity to thank Carol for all of her hard work, energy and drive which she has brought to HSSD {Health and Social Services Department], often during some difficult and public times."

Resignation calls

As chief officer of HSSD for 19 months, Dr Tozer held the reins during challenging times for the department, including an extraordinary review of maternity services, and the investigation into Dr Lyons following the deaths of four patients.

Dr Lyons was later exonerated and allowed to practise again.

An independent report into the investigation followed, which found there was not a "sufficient weight of evidence" when concerns about the deaths were raised with authorities.

Last week Mr Whitfield and the deputy chief minister, Allister Langlois, held a meeting in Alderney to discuss the report with islanders, where there were several calls from members of the public for Dr Tozer to resign over the Dr Lyons case.

Image caption Dr Tozer helped to make "significant improvements" in nursing and midwifery services at the Princess Elizabeth

Before coming to Guernsey to take up her role as chief officer of HSSD, Dr Tozer was executive director of services at the charity, Scope.

She had previously held several high profile roles in community and social services in the UK.

In 2011 she resigned from her post as director of children's services in Torbay, Devon.

Timeline of events

  • July 2013 - Former chief officer Mark Cooke said his contract "had come to an end"
  • January 2014 - Health department criticised for poor financial management following a £2.5m budget overspend in 2012, but it survives a "no confidence" vote
  • July 2014 - Guernsey's policy council appoints a new chief officer to HSSD, Dr Carol Tozer, executive director of services for Scope
  • September 2014 - Dr Tozer starts her new job as chief officer
  • October 2014 - Guernsey's health board resigns following "deep concerns" over midwifery supervision
  • End October 2014 - A new health board is elected, with Deputy Paul Luxon the new health minister
  • Dr Tozer then headed up a series of improvements to maternity services in the island and oversaw a number of key senior appointments
  • April 2015 - Alderney GP Dr Rory Lyons is investigated following the deaths of four patients - he is subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing
  • August 2015 - Dr Tozer serves as temporary chair of the Islands Child Protection Committee - its report reveals a big rise in the number of children identified as at risk of abuse in Guernsey
  • November 2015 - The Nursing and Midwifery Council says Guernsey's maternity services have made "tremendous progress"
  • March 2016 - An independent report into the case of Dr Lyons finds there not a "sufficient weight of evidence" when concerns about four deaths in Alderney were raised with authorities
  • March 2016 - Health minister Paul Luxon apologises for HSSD's handling of the Dr Lyons case
  • April 2016 - The States of Guernsey's chief executive and its deputy minister hold a public meeting in Alderney to answer questions about the independent report into HSSD's investigation; members of the public question why there is no representative from HSSD present at the meeting; there are calls from islanders at the meeting for Dr Tozer to resign
  • April 2016 - Dr Carol Tozer resigns

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