Published: 26/09/2002, Volume II2, No. 5824 Page 4

Troubled Royal United Hospitals Bath trust has terminated the employment of former chief executive Barbara Harris without any disciplinary hearing, her lawyers have claimed.

Ms Harris was the trust's chief executive until becoming director of the NHS Leadership Centre in April last year. She stood down from the Leadership Centre post eight months later, following a Commission for Health Improvement clinical governance review that criticised the management style at the trust.

But she remained on paid leave from the trust, which continued to be her employer. She faced the possibility of disciplinary proceedings in the wake of reviews of finances and waiting-list data, which in May reported evidence of 'deliberate falsification' of waiting-list figures and a projected£17m deficit.

In a statement, the trust confirmed that it terminated her employment on 22 August. 'The trust's lawyers have advised that it would be wrong for the trust to make any further comment, ' it added.

This week lawyers acting for Ms Harris issued a statement saying her employment had been terminated 'with no investigatory or disciplinary hearing'. It added that the matter was 'now with solicitors'.

The trust would not say whether or not a disciplinary hearing had taken place.