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Health chair leaves after a month over "differences" with Minister

Health chair leaves after a month over

Wednesday 03 April 2024

Health chair leaves after a month over "differences" with Minister

Wednesday 03 April 2024

The man who was supposed to oversee improvements in Jersey's Health Department has stepped down in "mutual agreement" with Health Minister Tom Binet due to "differences in working styles".

Tom Hayhoe, who was appointed as Chair of the department's Advisory Board, had just last week chaired his first board meeting, where he shared grand plans for the board's future.

He proposed regularly meeting community groups and charities and introducing "patient stories" to the start of every meeting.

Five weeks in the role

Mr Hayhoe brought with him more than 35 years’ experience in health leadership, including being chairman of West London NHS Trust and West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust.

Recruitment for the role started at the end of July 2023, but Mr Hayhoe was only appointed at the end of February this year – after his predecessor, Hugo Mascie-Taylor, had his contract extended until the end of 2023.

Frustrations around recruitment – and the cost of recruiting a new chair – partly fuelled the departure of then-Assistant Chief Minister Andy Jehan, who claimed in November that a competent candidate had been sidelined.

No details over exit payment

Deputy Binet said in a statement this afternoon: “We have mutually agreed this course of action given acknowledged differences in working styles."

He added that Mr Hayhoe would leave immediately and that one of the other non-executive directors would chair the board's meetings on an interim basis. 

Express has asked government if Mr Hayhoe will receive an exit payment.

Decision to be scrutinised

Reacting to the news, Chair of the Health and Social Security Scrutiny Panel Louise Doublet told Express that she was "surprised" to learn of Mr Hayhoe's abrupt departure.

"...I will be meeting with my panel and the board tomorrow," she said.

"I will attempt to obtain more information and scrutinise any decision-making around this."

"No rush" to recruit replacement

Deputy Binet later told Express that he and Mr Hayhoe had parted "amicably", adding: "We agreed that it was a different approach to it."

He said that he was "put in a position where we have to make decisions, and that is a decision I made".

Asked about the timeline for recruiting a new chair, he said: "I think we're going to take a little bit of time. There is no absolute rush."

"Worry" about staff morale

Mr Hayhoe commented that he was "disappointed not to be able to continue the work that I had started with the team at HCS, looking to improve the culture, raise staff morale and address the very big concerns around patient safety and the care that is delivered on the island.”

“I am worried about the level of staff morale in the organisation and I am also concerned about the needs to recover confidence in the medical services on the island and consistently delivering safe, quality care.”

Mr Hayhoe added that he appreciated the welcome he was given in Jersey, within the department and in the island more widely.

Follow Express for updates...


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FOCUS: Why does Jersey need a new Health Board?

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