Former RCHT chairman was 'angry' at nurse, claims report
The former chairman of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust breached its dignity at work policy by grabbing hold a member of staff by her arms on two occasions, a report has claimed.
Martin Watts resigned from the trust in June after an investigation upheld complaints in to his behaviour.
His resignation started a mass exodus of non-directors from the board, including his temporary replacement as chair Mike Higgins.
A Freedom of Information request from BBC Radio Cornwall has led to the release of two reports concluding he was in breach of the trust’s dignity at work policy.
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The first related to an incident when the former chairman became angry with a nurse in charge of his mother-in-law’s care.
The second accused him of "on two occasions taking 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".
But Mr Watts, who has said he was forced to resign, has welcome the release of the reports and the chance to “openly question” their “integrity”.
A witness in the first report accused him of being "aggressive and threatening" and described a nurse as "absolutely distraught...and concerned for (their) job"
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Watts said the allegations and the independent investigation reports can now be publicly considered.
He added he challenged a nurse over what he described as poor care given to his mother-in-law but claimed the second report was fundamentally flawed and omitted important evidence.
He said: "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."
In a statement Lezli Boswell, the chief executive of the trust, 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 focussed on maintaining and continually improving patient care."