Former chairman Martin Watts taking RCHT to employment tribunal
The former chairman of the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust (RCHT) is taking his former employer to an employment tribunal and pushing for reinstatement.
Martin Watts resigned from his position as chairman in June. Reports have since emerged alleging how Mr Watts “intimidated” staff and became angry with a nurse caring for his elderly mother-in-law.
His departure precipitated the collapse of the RCHT board, with three other resignations by non-executive members.
Today Mr Watts told the RCHT board at the Annual General Meeting he was taking the NHS Trust Development Authority and RCHT, to an employment tribunal.
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He said the tribunal would allow him to “confirm the exact sequence of events and fully explore the subsequent actions” taken by Lezli Boswell, chief executive of RCHT, and David Flory, chief executive of NHS Trust Development Authority.
Mr Watts said his actions were a “matter of considerable concern and deep regret”.
He said: “However I regard my decision to proceed with this Tribunal Court action as necessary, to both uphold my personal reputation which I will not allow to be sullied or to allow what I consider to be the wholly inappropriate and unsound decision by David Flory and the supporting actions of Lezli Bowell to go unchallenged, or indeed masked by the statements to the media and thus the public, from the NHS communications machine.
“My aim in this legal action will be to hold both Mr Flory and Ms Boswell fully to account, to receive a public apology from them and to be reinstated by the Secretary of State for Health, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, to fulfil my role as appointed Chairman of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust to 16 March 2017.”
RCHT declined to comment on the case. A spokesman for the NHS Trust Development Authority said: "We can confirm that we've been notified that Mr Watts has submitted a claim to the employment tribunal. It would be inappropriate for us to go into further detail at this stage."
The case is expected to be heard in February.