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MP Bill Esterson responds to the media release from Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust which

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust reveals outcome of whistleblowing investigation.

Southport and Ormskirk hospitals spent £1.4m of taxpayers’ cash on a probe into senior officers - but still won’t reveal details of the misconduct claims against them.

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson praised staff at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital and said he would stand up for the NHS and for staff following the results of the disciplinary hearing into the behaviour of senior managers at the trust.

Bill Esterson MP said, "In my experience, nurses, doctors and all staff at Southport and Formby Hospital and at Ormskirk Hospital work extremely hard and do an excellent job in looking after patients. I was admitted through A&E at Southport a few years ago and spent three days in critical care. My children have also been treated at Ormskirk and I have only the highest praise for everyone at Southport and at Ormskirk."

"People work best when there is a culture of support. It was therefore very concerning to learn that staff at the trust had not had the full support of management. It is also vital that those who raise concerns in our NHS have their concerns heard without fear of repercussions. There are grave concerns as a result of the cuts in funding to our NHS by the Conservatives, the involvement of private firms like Virgin Care at Southport and Ormskirk and now these disciplinary proceedings."

"I hope that the findings of the disciplinary panel mean that a line can be drawn under what has happened at Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust. Staff at Southport and at Ormskirk look after many of my constituents, including my own family and I hope that they now feel they have the support of managers and that they are able to raise any concerns they may have now and in the future. We need all staff in our NHS to be able to do their jobs to the best of their ability and I hope that is what is now going to happen. Labour will always stand up for our NHS and we will always support our excellent NHS staff."

Four senior chiefs at the local NHS trust faced disciplinary hearings after several complaints by whistle-blowers in 2015.

Chief executive Jonathan Parry was sacked for 11 counts of misconduct last October after more than a year suspended on full pay. Now the trust has confirmed which rules an independent panel found he had breached, but will not disclose what he actually did.

The Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust confirmed he broke the rules over his handling of whiste-blowers and behaviour towards colleagues, breached a duty of confidentiality and “negligently” breached governance rules.

It also confirmed that former HR and communications director Sharon Partington may have lost the trust money after she “negligently failed to maintain a grip of a key national KR project”.

She retired before the probe finished, but the panel found she had committed misconduct and would have been sacked if she had not left.

The trust said she also “failed to follow HR due process” in the way staff were recruited and disciplined on several occasions.

The full £1,394,355 cost of the investigation was also disclosed today, with almost £820,000 spent on interim directors and £205,000 on legal advice alone.

But the panels found there was no case to answer against the former deputy director of performance and and former chief operating officer.

Richard Fraser, Trust Chair, said: “Throughout this process, the Trust has aimed to ensure fairness to the individuals concerned while acknowledging a legitimate public interest in the timescale and costs involved.

“We believe by disclosing this new information today we are meeting that public interest. The Trust does not consider that it would be in the public interest to provide any further information. No further comment will be made on this matter.”

He also said Mr Parry and Mrs Partington did not derive a personal benefit from their actions, and that none of the complaints involved patient care or safety.

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