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Former hospital boss rules out legal action

By WMNlynbarton  |  Posted: October 29, 2013

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Martin Watts

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The former chairman of a Cornish hospital has withdrawn his threat of legal action.

Martin Watts resigned from his post at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust (RCHT) in June after external investigations into two separate complaints were upheld.

He said that he was forced to stand down and last month announced he was to take the matter to an employment tribunal.

Mr Watts said that he was now forced to withdraw from the action after a ruling that an employment tribunal had no jurisdiction in a position like the one he held.

It was a huge disapointment, said Mr Watts, who has had a long and successful business career.

“What this simply means is that I, with the supporting evidence of some eight key witnesses, am now unable to hold to account in what appeared to me to be the most appropriate forum, an Employment Tribunal,” Mr Watts said.

He added that he wished to hold to account the action of the two NHS chief executives, including current RCHT boss Lezli Boswell.

Mr Watts said that it was now time to move on.

“However I and my wife have now decided that enough is enough and that it is time to put RCHT and the power politics of the NHS behind us.

“I wish all the dedicated and talented staff and volunteers at RCHT my warmest thanks for their great personal support during my time at the Trust, which I hope under the right 100% Cornwall focussed leadership, will go forward successfully working in constructive harmony with its key NHS, Cornwall Council and other partner stakeholders.”

Martin Watts resigned after being told by the chief executive of the NHS Trust Development Authority, David Flory, that his position was no longer tenable.

Two separate complaints had been upheld by the NHS Trust Development Authority and Strategic Health Authority.

One accusation related to a training session with newly-elected governors during which he touched a woman’s arm. A further complaint related to his critical view of a staff member’s work, which he judged to be of poor quality.

His resignation was shortly followed by three other non-executive members of the board, including his interim replacement as chairman, Mike Higgins.

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