Monday, 3 March 2008

Ruth Harrison

Many of you may remember Ruth Harrison, one-time deputy chief executive of Bedford Hospital. She is back in the news. This is from today's Daily Telegraph:

A former hospital chief executive who was at the centre of a superbug outbreak which left 33 people dead is working for the NHS again, despite receiving a £140,000 pay-off just over a year ago.

Ruth Harrison is being paid £52,000 on a short-term contract to head a review into maternity and children's services at Epsom and St Helier Hospital in Surrey, which could lead to the closure of wards.

<A HREF="" target="_top"><IMG SRC="" WIDTH=300 HEIGHT=250 BORDER=0></A> She left her £130,000 chief executive job at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Bucks, in 2006 with a £140,000 "golden goodbye" the day before a damning report was published, citing serious faults in her leadership.

Under her tenure 33 patients died and 334 became seriously ill with the highly infectious stomach bug Clostridium difficile.

The Healthcare Commission, which carried out the investigation into the outbreak between October 2003 and June 2005, said the trust "compromised the safety of patients by failing to make the right decisions" and that it "rejected the proper advice of their own experts".

Its report said: "The Healthcare Commission considers there were significant failings on the part of the leadership at the trust and has recommended that the leadership change."

The appointment of Ms Harrison at Epsom and St Helier Hospital has caused outrage among patients' rights campaigners, who believe it is tantamount to rewarding poor performance.


Anonymous said...

Nice to see her doing well

Anonymous said...

you were plugged on radio five today!

Anonymous said...

Easy to throw stones. Some of us believe that the Healthcare Commission would have done
those it safeguards (the public) a greater service if it had recognised that
these events were early indications of a systemic issue affecting the
country's hospitals and not fed the distraction that scapegoating a few
Chief Executives was the response that would bring down the figures.
The latest statistics showing the continued increase of C.Diff underline
this point.

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys,

A bit late in the day. Anyone know where she went after Bedford etc...

Would appreciate any information.

I know she got the boot at Bucks NHS.