New Cross Hospital boss David Loughton will not quit over a damning report into how he treated a whistleblower – and insists there is no truth in her allegations about death rates and fraud.
An independent inquiry found Mr Loughton was ‘dismissive’ of the claims made by staff member Sandra Haynes-Kirkbright and tried to ‘kick them into the long grass’ ahead of a key visit by a health watchdog.
Details of her treatment emerged in the report published earlier this month and prompted other whistleblowers to demand his resignation.
Speaking on the report for the first time, the £200,000-a-year boss was adamant there was “no truth whatsoever” in Mrs Haynes-Kirkbright’s allegations.
He said the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust was better off without certain individuals.
And asked if he had considered stepping down, Mr Loughton replied: “never.”
He added: “Three people who do not work for the trust have called for my head.
“How many letters do we think we have had from staff members at the hospital? We’ve had none. None at all. That says it all.
“Without doubt this organisation is better off without certain individuals.”
Mrs Haynes-Kirkbright, who has been suspended from her £55,000 role as a coder since 2012, alleged the trust had fraudulently made money by charging for treatments it had not performed. The 52-year-old from Stafford also raised concerns that death rates were being made to look better than they were because they were wrongly registered.
But Mr Loughton told investigators that ‘no-one cares’ about allegations of fraud and that some people would say ‘good on you’ for ‘fiddling’ figures to get more money for the Trust.
Dr David Drew, a whistleblower sacked from Walsall Manor Hospital, said the Chief Executive “has to be finished”. Whistleblowers Professor David Ferry and Dr Raj Mattu were similarly critical of Mr Loughton.
The New Cross boss was speaking following a meeting of the trust’s Board of Directors, during which Chairman Jeremy Vanes spoke briefly on the report.
He said: “We support all staff that were named and involved, past and former staff, in the report.
“Secondly, we welcome the government review, which was one of the conclusions. We were planning to do one ourselves but that was delayed to wait for this report.
“Thirdly there are several active workstreams in terms of the outcomes and conclusions of the report which are not concluded, so it is very difficult for us to say anything more.
“We will be able to answer any questions in due course when all aspects have been resolved.”
Mr Loughton has been a NHS chief executive for 27 years. In 2010 he was appointed CBE for services to healthcare.