Royal Cornwall Hospitals chief 'distressed' at quit row

Martin Watts
Image caption Martin Watts said his resignation was not an admission of guilt

The resignation of a hospital chairman after complaints about his conduct has left the NHS trust's chief executive "personally distressed", she has said.

Martin Watts quit the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust after two complaints under its dignity at work policy.

Lezli Boswell said: "It is deeply sad. I have had a very positive and good working relationship with him."

Mr Watts said his resignation was not an admission of guilt and he will fight for his job back through the courts.

The trust's dignity at work policy covers issues such as bullying, harassment and victimisation, but the trust has not revealed the details of the accusations against Mr Watts.

'Good chairman'

The NHS Trust Development Authority (NTDA), the body that sets rules for trusts, said an independent investigation had upheld a complaint from two members of staff.

Chief executive Ms Boswell said: "He has been a good chairman. It is a most unfortunate situation for him, the staff and the board.

"I have been and continue to be supportive of Mr Watts."

Mr Watts said he had been the victim of an "injudicious judgment".

He said: "I resigned under pressure, I did not want the trust to go into meltdown through media.

"I will clear my name through the courts and prove that this report is totally flawed."

The trust is discussing the appointment of an interim chairman with the NTDA.

The trust's former chairman, Peter Davies, stood down in protest at plans to move some cancer operations from Cornwall to Devon.

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