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Author of damning £85k report appointed to lead Health board

Author of damning £85k report appointed to lead Health board

Monday 21 November 2022

Author of damning £85k report appointed to lead Health board

Monday 21 November 2022

The board responsible for overseeing Jersey’s health service has been disbanded – and the UK Professor behind an £85,000 report alleging a ‘Health Jersey Way’ has been appointed Chair of its replacement.

Senior clinical lecturer Hugo Mascie-Taylor – who has been recruited to lead the new ‘independent’ board on a 12-month contract – was asked to undertake a review of “clinical governance” in the island’s health service by Director General Caroline Landon last year.

He had previously been External Assessor during the appointment of Medical Director Patrick Armstrong, and was asked by Ms Landon to mentor him in the role, which involved weekly meetings with Mr Armstrong.

Published in August and based on interviews with more than 50 staff, Professor Mascie-Taylor's resulting report claimed that bullying, a "bias against standardisation" and "vested interests" are dominant in the island's health service and posed a threat to patient safety.

It made 61 recommendations – among them, a call to improve the board responsible for holding the organisation to account and insisting upon "safe, high-quality practice".

In its wake, Health Minister Karen Wilson pledged to create an independent board "to drive reform, improve governance and address the cultural, structural and practice issues affecting the quality and safety of the care provided".

On Friday, she announced that the current health board had been disbanded and that Professor Mascie-Taylor had been appointed on a 12-month contract to Chair it, beating more than 50 candidates. Express has asked the Government for details of the salary and travel expenses attached to the role, and is awaiting a response.

Describing the Professor's "established understanding of the challenges faced by the Department" as "vital", Deputy Wilson said that his key responsibilities would be to advise "on the terms of reference for the new Board and oversee the work of the turnaround team and a reform of the Department's clinical governance arrangements."

She also said he would "set clear expectations about the Department's culture, value, and behaviours".

An "specialist executive search firm" identified 52 candidates for consideration, with five progressing to interview. The shortlisted group met with a group of HCS staff, followed by a selection panel including Chief Executive Suzanne Wylie and a GP, who recommended two candidates to meet with Deputy Wilson and Deputy Chief Minister Kirsten Morel. Deputy Wilson made the final decision.

Express has asked whether Professor Mascie-Taylor's status as author of the report which triggered the board's creation was considered a potential conflict of interest by Government.

Professor Hugo Mascie-Taylor said that he was "delighted and privileged to be appointed by the Minister to Chair the emerging Board of HCS."

He continued: "During the process of the review which I recently undertook I had the opportunity to speak at length with over seventy people in the organisation.

"I know that the service has many committed staff who wish to be part of a strong, mutually respectful, and effective team delivering the best possible care to all patients. I look forward to working with them to put in place the key structures, processes, and culture and behaviours necessary to drive improvement, openness and transparency.

"This will enable patients and carers in Jersey to be assured that the quality and safety of the care they receive compares favourably with other health systems elsewhere in the world."


IN-DEPTH: “How much evidence does Jersey’s health service want?”

Q&A: How will the Government act on the Mascie-Taylor report?

FOCUS: Another review identifying more failings in Health

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Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

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Posted by EdWilliams4 on
The £85k report is not 'damning'. It was based on 'anecdotal' evidence according to the author and the management of the hospital made majority of the 53 people interviewed by Professor Mascie Taylor. The conclusions stated the obvious that we did not measure/ publish relevant outcomes. Given that the author was hand-picked by Director General the report did not point to the quality of leadership at HCS. The author could not even advise if there are too many or too few managers at HCS. One of the recommendations was to create that independent board and then we learned that it actually created another 12-month opportunity for... Prof Mascie-Taylor. One never knows - perhaps it will be extended after 12 months if the management is happy with the oversight. Given that Professor Mascie Taylor participated in appointing our Medical Director few years ago and then was mentoring him as explained above - he must have been aware of the shortcomings of the system managed by the person he regularly mentored. Interestingly the Appendix 1 of the report listing pages of various roles that the Professor held did not mention his earlier Jersey connection - that he served as a mentor for Mr Armstrong. Strange omission, not serving the overarching objective of transparency. All that considered Professor Marcie-Taylor can not be considered independent, he has been on the payroll of the HCS for a long time and could have impacted all the shortcomings through proper mentoring of the top medical director. The fact that he agreed to be appointed as a head of the governance body he himself 'created' is not only a conflict of interest but is simply unethical. As usual it was a mysterious 'agency' that selected the candidates without such critical role being advertised across Jersey, UK and Europe and then the candidate was individually hand picked by Deputy Wilson. It resembles the process in which Kim Hodgson - another long-standing expert had been selected and paid over half a million £ for her services. In the meantime the hospital waiting list exceeded 13 thousand people (patients) and we have more vacancies than ever.
Posted by Keith Marsh on
Why is it necessary for this report.
We all know that the hospital is not being run well, and that must be the responsibility of
Director General Caroline Landon.
So yet a further £ 85k down the drain, and the appointment of Professor Mascie-Taylor, who we have no details of salary and expenses.
Time for a NEW BROOM to ensure the hospital is run well.
Posted by Aston Francis on
Utter disgrace. How can a long-standing mentor of Medical Director Armstrong, personally selected by Caroline Landon be considered independent? Nothing will change, it is smoke and mirrors only, same as the ‘independent’ report for £85k (equivalent of two experienced nurses’ salaries).
Posted by David Ng on
I welcome the formation of the new Hospital Board. I am quizzical why no senior hospital consultant and only a GP was on the selection panel. We need improved governance to give us clearer support and guidance to recover morale in healthcare, especially in the hospital.
Posted by Esporta Johnson on
The appointment has been controversial to say least. The report commissioned without any proper selection/ procurement process, without any publicity last year by Caroline Landon at the expense of £85k pretended that Dr Mascie-Taylor was an objective external investigator not involved in Jersey health system in the past. The appendix of the report lists all various credentials and achievements of Dr Mascie Taylor yet it did not mention his roles in Jersey. We have only learned about it from yesterday's publication: 'He had previously been External Assessor during the appointment of Medical Director Patrick Armstrong, and was asked by Ms Landon to mentor him in the role, which involved weekly meetings with Mr Armstrong.' Having had weekly mentoring meetings with Mr Armstrong he had been at least aware if not involved and responsible for the numerous problems of our health system and in particular for the toxic environment in the hospital. Being a former administrator of Mid Staffordshire Trust he must have been aware of the grave risks for Jersey Health System created by incompetent leadership, there are too many similarities not to notice. Not mentioning his Jersey role in the report makes it totally unreliable. Using the report to create a next well-paid role for him as an 'independent' chair was unethical. I will not comment on the actions of those who ultimately allowed for the whole situation and have been pouring our, taxpayer money into the whole mentoring, report and chairing by Dr Mascie Taylor rather than funding more nurses or more doctors. This is not the kind of change expected by those who voted for CHANGE.
Posted by Stathia Ekdikisi on
The morale in the hospital will not be recovered by an appointment of Mr Armstrong's coach to the chair of the 'independent' board. It does not matter if there was a GP or a consultant in the panel. The decision was made by someone else. People in the hospital with few exceptions must be seeing through it. Let's hope this will become a snake island moment for the newly appointed chair and that he would resign not to further damage his already fragile image. Jersey deserves better healthcare.
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