Hands off Hinchingbrooke campaigners “betrayed and angry” after announcement to appoint new hospital board leaves hospital out in the cold

Hinchingbrooke Hospital,

Hinchingbrooke Hospital, - Credit: Archant

The make-up of a new board created from the merger of Hinchingbrooke Hospital and the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (PSHFT) has been announced today (Monday.

Campaigners who fought against the merger of Hinchingbrooke Hospital with the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (PSHFT) are feeling “angry and betrayed” after the make-up of the new board was announced on Monday.

In a move that has shocked members of Hands off Hinchingbrooke (HoH), who feared Huntingdonshire would be under represented, and therefore at risk of being able to fight off any future plans to close departments or streamline services, the entire executive board is made up of PSHFT appointments.

Hinchingbrooke’s chief executive, Lance McCarthy, and chairman, Alan Burns, who were only on short-term contracts, will be replaced with the current PSHFT chief executive, Stephen Graves, and chairman, Rob Hughes.

The new finance director, chief operating officer, chief nurse, medical director, director of workforce and company secretary are all PSHFT appointments.

Currently, the only representation from Hinchingbrooke are three non-executive directors, Alan Brown, Sarah Dixon and Chris Welsh.

HoH campaigned tirelessly to ensure people in Huntingdonshire would have a voice and have described the announcement as “absolute nonsense”.

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Spokesman for the group, Rob Gardiner, said: “They promised to consult and engage and this is what we end up with.

We now have major concerns about the democractic deficit of the new board and this feels like all our worst fears have been realised.

“Will any of the income from the new health campus actually be used for the welfare of Huntingdonshire people?”

Chairman, Mr Hughes said in a statement: “The appointments were made through a process which recognised that the single organisation going forward will be the result of an acquisition of Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust by Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

“I am pleased that three of the current non-executive directors from the Hinchingbrooke board have agreed to join the new board and work alongside the five non-executive directors from the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.”

Both trusts will now work on finding a new name for the combined organisation. Hinchingbrooke Hospital will not lose its title and it will be the joint NHS Trust that will be renamed.

Staff and members of the public will be invited to vote from a shortlist of six names that have been approved by NHS England.

In January, elections will be held to recruit public and staff governors, to represent all three hospitals, on the board.