Bosses quitting Blackpool Victoria Hospital 'not linked to the trust's performance'

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Two bosses at Blackpool Victoria Hospital are leaving for “purely personal reasons”, its chairman said.

Pearse Butler spoke a week after The Gazette revealed chief executive Wendy Swift would be leaving her role, and after the Health Service Journal (HSJ) said this week that director of nursing and quality Marie Thompson is also set to quit.

Blackpool Victoria Hospital and top right, Pearse Butler and bottom right, Wendy Swift

Blackpool Victoria Hospital and top right, Pearse Butler and bottom right, Wendy Swift

The Vic has faced criticism in recent years – amid pressure to make tens of millions of savings - for its performance in some areas, such as A&E waiting times and cancelled operations.

The hospital is also at the centre of a major and much publicised police investigation into the suspected poisoning of patients on the stroke unit.

Mr Butler accepted the Vic has its problems, but said: “I would like to make it clear that the retirements of Wendy Swift and Marie Thompson are for purely personal reasons and are in no way related to the trust’s performance.”

“Both Wendy and Marie had planned their retirements some time ago and I would like to thank them for the major contributions they have made over the last few years. They will leave with everyone’s best wishes.”

Ms Swift had always eyed a fresh challenge after racking up 40 years in the NHS, while Ms Thompson told bosses she planned to leave in January after completing a decade in her role, it was understood.

No dates for either departure have been announced, nor have any replacements.

Mr Butler added: “It is true the trust has a number of challenges to address but there has been progress over the last few years in a number of major areas, and we are all working hard to maintain these improvements.”

He said performance in the emergence department had improved and was “among the top performers” in the region “in recent months.”

He dded: “We have extensive action plans to deliver improvements in other areas with our hard-working, dedicated staff.

“We are working closely with our NHS and social care partners across the Fylde coast to deliver those improvements.”