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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 November 2007, 17:18 GMT
NHS bug trust board members leave
Save Maidstone Hospital meeting
A rally was held to restore confidence in Maidstone Hospital
Three non-executive directors have resigned from the board of an NHS trust which saw 90 people die in a superbug outbreak - and another two are to go.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust said Bruce Sheppey, Gina Jennings and Simon Ingman resigned with immediate effect. All three joined last year.

Aaron Cockell and Jonathan Paine will leave at the end of the month. They are near the end of a first four-year term.

It follows calls for the board to be disbanded by Kent MP Hugh Robertson.

The Mid Kent and Faversham Tory MP called for the move while speaking at a rally which followed a damning Healthcare Commission report into two outbreaks of the clostridium difficile superbug at the trust's three hospitals.

'Awful chapter'

At least 90 patients died between 2004 and 2006, caused by a "litany" of errors in infection control, the report said.

About 500 people attended Tuesday's meeting to discuss cleanliness as well as proposed changes to hospital services.

Mr Robertson said: "I think the original board should go completely.

"If anything positive is to come out of this awful chapter it must be a real commitment, firstly, to stamp out C.diff, but secondly to put patients right back at the heart of the NHS."

Non-executive chairperson
Five non-executive directors (voting)
NHS trust chief executive
Four executive directors (voting)
Three executive directors (non-voting)
Source: Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS website

But trust chief executive Glenn Douglas, who also runs Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust in Surrey, said work to restore confidence was under way.

"Together with the new interim chairman, George Jenkins, we intend to build the organisation up to one that is confident and [has a] positive future," he said.

On Monday, it was revealed that two healthcare assistants had been sacked from Maidstone Hospital.

A staff nurse and another healthcare assistant at the Kent and Sussex Hospital in Tunbridge Wells had also been disciplined over care standards.

The trust board includes five non-executive directors, who are members of the public living in the area that the trust serves, who respond to advertisements for posts.

The chairperson is appointed by the Secretary of State for Health and the other non-Executive members are appointed by the NHS Appointments Commission, according to the NHS trust website.


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