Chairman of Wirral University Teaching Hospitals Trust resigns

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Arrowe Park HospitalImage source, Google
Image caption,
NHS Improvement will look at allegations made by staff at the trust's hospitals

The chairman of an NHS Trust being investigated over "cultural, behavioural and governance issues" amid claims of bullying has stepped down.

NHS Improvement ordered a probe into claims by Wirral University Teaching Hospitals Trust staff in January.

The investigation will also look into the dismissal of a doctor for serious gross misconduct in November.

Michael Carr, who has been at the trust for almost a decade, said it was "now time for a new leadership team".

The trust runs Arrowe Park Hospital, Clatterbridge Hospital and Wirral Women and Children's Hospital and was rated as requiring improvement by the Care Quality Commission in 2016.

Mr Carr said he had "worked with so many excellent board members, governors and staff, [who were] determined to do the very best for our patients".

His departure follows the resignation of the trust's chief executive David Allison in December.

An NHS Improvement spokesman said their investigation would look into concerns raised by trust staff in late 2017 including claims of bullying and review the handling of the sacking of Dr Palaniappan Saravanan in November.

Dr Saravanan, a cardiologist at Arrowe Park, was dismissed after being accused of sexually harassing junior doctors.

'Let down'

Derek Jones from Unite said union members from departments across the hospital say they are being bullied.

He said members had been shouted at in corridors, put into situations that made them cry and claimed that there had been "manipulation" of rotas.

Internal documents show a consultants' survey last March found consultants felt "let down and cut off", with 43% saying they had experienced bullying, harassment and abuse which they felt unable to report for fear of repercussion.

The trust's new management said it welcomed NHS Improvement's investigation and would learn lessons to enable positive changes.

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