Hospice row could go to Charity Commission

By Emily Pearce

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

 

Hospice row could go to Charity Commission

The Earl Moutbatten Hospice on the Isle of Wight. Picture by Peter Boam.

DISCONTENTED Earl Mountbatten Hospice doctors and volunteers have said they could approach bodies such as the Charity Commission after their concerns were dismissed by trustees.

A group of past and present hospice staff recently met with trustees in the wake of a controversial resources review and staff shake-up, but the deputation has said it was disappointed its concerns were not taken more seriously by chairman Peter Kingston.

Mr Kingston strongly refuted their claims however, claiming the issues were considered in great detail.

In a statement last week, the deputation said: "We are very disappointed and, due to the lack of willingness on the part of the chairman to deal with these issues, we now feel we have no option but to pursue these matters through the relevant official bodies."

Mr Kingston said a written reply was provided addressing their concerns, which included the appointment of doctors, unnecessary expenditure and a 'hectoring' management style — an accusation denied by the trustees.

He said: "Their concerns were analysed in great detail by the trustees and we provided a very considered response. For them to say we have not considered their concerns is absolutely not the case, we have done our utmost to answer all the points they raised.

"This goes back to the way the review of resources was handled, and that has been looked at. We have said lessons must be learnt."

The deputation included hospice consultant Dr Ian Johnson, recently retired hospice and St Mary's Hospital consultant Dr Fiona Randall, hospice trading company director Tony Wake and volunteers Pat Green and Brian Langslow.

The group said it was considering its next move, which could include taking their concerns to national watchdogs such as the Charity Commission, the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group — the NHS body that commissions hospice services — health and social care watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and national charity Help the Hospices.

The CQC visited the hospice in May and found it was meeting all essential standards.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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