Page last updated at 13:13 GMT, Saturday, 7 March 2009

Children's hospital head resigns

Birmingham Children's Hospital
The hospital had said the issues raised were being addressed

The chief executive of Birmingham's Children's Hospital has resigned.

Paul O'Connor tendered his resignation with immediate effect and was not removed from his position, the NHS trust's chairman Joanna Davis said.

He has stood down ahead of a Healthcare Commission report into clinical standards at the hospital which was sparked after doctors made complaints.

Mr O'Connor had said the review, which is to be published this week, brought up "no serious clinical issues".

Services at the hospital, which is one of England's leading children's hospitals, were investigated after complaints from its own consultants.

The Healthcare Commission review of the hospital's services was commissioned after management meetings in August.

'Bed shortage'

Doctors from a number of specialist areas, including kidney and liver transplants, were consulted as part of the review.

It is believed a lack of interventional radiology, a shortage of beds in key areas, including for liver transplant and neurosurgery, and training of theatre staff were criticised by doctors working at the hospital.

The Observer newspaper revealed in November 2008 that the review was proving to be highly critical of the hospital, but the hospital said that the paper was not quoting an official report.

Mr O'Connor said staff had been upset by the Observer piece, saying it had "no status".

The hospital also said in November that the issues raised were "all standard operational ones" and it had agreed a plan with the PCTs and the clinicians concerned "about addressing the issues raised".

On Saturday, Ms Davis, chairman of Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Trust, would not comment further over Mr O'Connor's resignation.

"Further statements will be released in due course," she said.

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