色人阁

Health hit by another top-level resignation

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HEALTH has been hit by another high-profile departure after a senior consultant brought in to change culture within the department resigned from his post, the JEP can reveal today.

Professor Simon Mackenzie, who was part of a five-person 鈥渃hange team鈥 set up after a damning report in August 2022 revealed concerns about management and working culture in Health and Community Services, confirmed his resignation to the JEP but would not comment further.

But the JEP understands that in his resignation letter, Prof Mackenzie cited a lack of support from HCS, something that Health Minister Tom Binet has disputed.

鈥淚 am thankful to Professor Mackenzie for his work. I understand that in parting, the professor has used his resignation letter to claim he was not being personally supported. This is not an accurate reflection of the facts,鈥 Deputy Binet said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a senior source at the Hospital has raised concerns that the so-called change team have so far focused on cutting costs rather than helping develop and expand clinical services.

Treasury Minister Elaine Millar warned this month that her department would 鈥渉ave to have some hard words鈥 with Health to close a potential 拢18m shortfall in this year鈥檚 budget.

Prof Mackenzie is the latest in a string of resignations from the embattled department.

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On 3 April, the head of a board set up to oversee improvements in Health, Tom Hayhoe, stepped down after a month in the job.

At the time, Deputy Binet blamed 鈥渄ifferences in working styles鈥 for the departure of Mr Hayhoe, the chair of the Health Advisory Board and a former chairman of West London NHS Trust and West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust.

In March last year, 色人阁鈥檚 director of health and its chief nurse, Caroline Landon and Rose Naylor, also left the department. An 鈥渋ndefensible misuse of taxpayers鈥 money鈥 on the HCS board was also cited as a reason behind the resignation of Constable Andy Jehan from his Assistant Chief Minister role in the previous government.

Prof Mackenzie was one of five consultants brought in following an independent review of the quality and safety of clinical services provided at the General Hospital conducted by Professor Hugo Mascie-Taylor, who was employed on a 拢1,440 day rate for three days per week.

In August 2022, Prof Mascie-Taylor raised serious concerns about management and working culture within Health, including of bullying and bias against standardisation.

As a result, Prof Mackenzie and four others 鈥 Cathy Stone, Beverley Edgar, Chris Bown and Obi Hasan 鈥 were brought to the Island to try to turn things around.

The JEP revealed in March 2023 that the total cost of the team, which was not given specific performance targets, would be 拢200,000 over three months, and that if the team remained in place until December 2023 the cost would be 拢800,000 鈥 拢160,000 per consultant for the year.

Although the five were intended to stay for 12 months, Mr Bown was later made chief officer of HCS on a 12-month fixed-term contract.

Mr Bown, Ms Stone and Mr Hassan remained in senior roles at HSC, while Beverley Edgar, who was HR lead on the change team, reportedly left in March 2024.

The JEP has approached Ms Edgar about her reasons for leaving the department. The JEP has asked HCS for clarity on all four contracts and the total remuneration paid to the consultants during their time in the Island.

A senior source at the Hospital told the JEP that the change team 鈥渉ave had to focus on cutting spending as part of a financial recovery plan rather than investing in the extra staff and resources to deal with the growing health demands of the Island鈥.

Of particular ire within the Hospital, the source continued, was the comment from Deputy Millar on 5 May that Health was 鈥渟ucking up more and more of the resource to the prejudice of other services鈥.

鈥淭he public don鈥檛 like to see a waste of money 鈥 they don鈥檛 like excessive spending and I鈥檓 sure even though they want a good-quality, safe health service, they don鈥檛 expect to be paying through the nose for it,鈥 Deputy Millar said. But the hospital source said the comments were 鈥渘ot well received by the clinical staff鈥.

鈥淢orale is already low in Health so staff need some hope that they will get the additional funding that is required to deliver a modern healthcare service for 色人阁,鈥 they added.

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