THE CHIEF executive of cash-strapped Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, has resigned.
Penny Venables has been missing from trust board meetings for the last three months, her absence coinciding with a series of issues at the trust.
These include the continuing fall-out from the resignation of four accident and emergency deaprtment consultants from the Alexandra Hospital, Redditch, over plans to reduce the level of cover in the emergency department at the Woodrow Centre.
Other issues included an abnormally high mortality rate at the Alex, a critical report from snap inspection from the Care Quality Commission and the decision by ambulance staff to call in a disasters emergency doctor at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester because they feared A&E staff could not cope with the demand.
The cost of supplying temporary nursing staff had spiralled to almost £1 million a month as the trust struggled to contain costs.
Harry Turner, chairman of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said he had accepted Ms Venables’s resignation.
“I am most grateful for all the work Penny has done for the patients, staff and everyone involved with the Trust, she will be remembered as an effective leader, who put patients and staff at the heart of her decisions,” he said.
“On behalf of patients, staff and the board of the Trust I wish Penny every success for the future.
“For the past three months, Chris Tidman has been acting chief executive and he has demonstrated strong, stable leadership; he will continue in that role until substantive arrangements are in place.
“The focus of the board and myself is to continue to build on our improvements, look forward to the CQC inspection outcome in the coming weeks and to build an NHS Trust that is continuing to deliver excellent care.”
The trust said Ms Venables has not received any severance payment or additional pension contributions.
Penny Venables, who has resigned as chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.