Alder Hey Chief Found Guilty of Misconduct
Herbert, Ian, The Independent (London, England)
THE SUSPENDED chief executive of Alder Hey hospital is likely to be dismissed after a disciplinary panel found her guilty of misconduct for her role in a scandal over the removal of children's organs.
The internal panel said yesterday that Hilary Rowland, 49, had brought the Royal Liverpool Children's NHS Trust and herself into disrepute. The hospital's public censure followed a three-day hearing by an independent chairwoman and two non-executive directors of the trust, who are expected to make further announcements later in the week.
In January, after a public inquiry, the Redfern report revealed that thousands of organs had been stripped from children's bodies without their parents' consent. The document criticised Ms Rowland for claiming to have no knowledge of the extent of the scandal; for failing to act upon a complaint from a parent; and for refusing to address the issue when it became public.
Angela Jones, the NHS trust's chairwoman, confirmed the misconduct verdict yesterday. She said it had been "a difficult time for everyone involved, not least the staff who have continued to work through all of this with determination and commitment".
Hospital sources suggested it was common practice for the NHS to remove staff found guilty of misconduct.
John O'Hare, a spokesman for the Alder Hey parent support group, Pity II, said Ms Rowland should be barred from the NHS. "This decision is the right one and we are pleased to hear someone is finally being held accountable for mishandling the situation," he said. …