Ex-RCHT chairman Martin Watts welcomes release of investigation reports
THE former chairman of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust has welcomed the release of two reports which concluded that he was in breach of the trust’s dignity at work policy.
Martin Watts, who resigned from his role in June following two upheld staff complaints about his conduct, said after the reports were released following a Freedom of Information (FoI) request that he was happy to have the opportunity to "openly question the integrity" of them.
The investigations had taken place firstly into an allegation that Mr Watts had become angry with a nurse in charge of his 95-year-old mother-in-law's care and, secondly, that he had "on two occasions taken hold of the member of staff by (their) arms", "causing intimidation by not respecting personal boundaries” and "being unfairly/unduly critical of aspects of performance".
Mr Watts admitted on BBC TV’s Spotlight programme that he had been upset to find what he described as "poor care" for his 95-year-old mother-in-law who had recently undergone emergency surgery and which was at odds with the level of care she had received earlier.
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A witness told the report he was "aggressive and threatening" and the nurse was described as "absolutely distraught...and concerned for (their) job".
Regarding the second investigation, Mr Watts claimed it was fundamentally flawed and omitted important evidence.
The recommendations from the reports included "remedial action that would allow the chairman to continue in post" or to "review the chairman's appointment” but Mr Watts claimed he was not given any course of remedial action to enable him to stay on as chairman.
Mr Watts said: "The allegations and the independent investigation reports can now be publicly considered. This is something I welcome as it gives both myself and others the opportunity to openly question the integrity of the reports and the actions taken by two senior NHS chief executives in full."
Lezli Boswell, the chief executive of the RCHT, said: "Two independent reports upheld complaints against Martin Watts under the trust's dignity at work policy, following which he resigned from his post as chairman.
"The trust has a new chairman - Angela Ballatti - who is working with the NHS Trust Development Authority on the recruitment of good candidates to the vacant non-executive roles. Our priority remains firmly focused on maintaining and continually improving patient care."