Page last updated at 12:24 GMT, Sunday, 16 August 2009 13:24 UK

Council boss barred from last job

David Bowles
David Bowles has been appointed to his new role for the next 12 months

A troubleshooter brought in to run Anglesey council was suspended from his previous job amid an ongoing review of his leadership, it has emerged.

David Bowles later stepped down as chairman of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust.

Mr Bowles said it was due to a row over targets but NHS East Midlands Trust said it had "governance" concerns.

The Welsh Assembly Government said it had no bearing on his appointment as council interim managing director.

Mr Bowles was appointed to his new job at the crisis-hit authority by Local Government Minister Brian Gibbons earlier this week.

It followed a recent auditor general's report which said the council suffered from "serious persistent problems" deriving from "personality politics"

The report led to a decision by Dr Gibbons to actively intervene in the council's running.

We have appointed Mr Bowles because of his very strong track record in turning round local authorities in difficulty
Welsh Assembly Government

Dr Gibbons said Mr Bowles' appointment will be for a maximum of one year in the first instance.

"We and he hope that by the end of that period the council will be able to appoint its own permanent managing director who will work to embed the recovery before I formally end our intervention," he said.

Mr Bowles had stood down from his previous job at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT), at the end of July.

At the time he told the BBC he had been asked to give assurances that patients would be seen within 18 weeks of a GP referral.

He said he could not give those assurances because of a shortage of beds.

"It has got so bad we are having to build new wards, but those wards will not be available until December," he said.

But Sir John Brigstocke, chairman of NHS East Midlands, said: "David Bowles was not suspended because he would not guarantee to meet targets as he suggests.

"He was suspended because the strategic health authority had serious concerns about the governance at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust.

"Failures of governance have been found to be the cause of serious consequences for the quality of care for patients."

'Disagreement'

The assembly government said it was aware of Mr Bowles' recent departure from NHS East Midlands Trust.

A spokeswoman said: "We have appointed Mr Bowles because of his very strong track record in turning round local authorities in difficulty, including experience in Wales.

"We are aware of his recent departure from The United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and understand that was due to disagreement over certain aspects of how the NHS in England is run.

"This is a matter between Mr Bowles and his previous employer and has had no bearing on his appointment."

Dr Gibbons has also announced the appointment of an independent recovery board to monitor the council's performance over the next two years.

Anglesey council has two years to improve or it has been warned the Welsh Assembly Government would take over its running.



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