Published: 04/04/2002, Volume II2, No. 5799 Page 4

The chief executive of Stoke Mandeville Hospital trust has been sacked for gross misconduct, after a disciplinary hearing found she had overseen the deliberate fiddling of waiting lists.

Sue Nicholls had been suspended since last June pending an investigation which had seen the earlier resignation of two other senior managers before disciplinary hearings could take place.

Ms Nicholls was suspended following the completion of a district audit report into waiting-list mismanagement. A total of 131 proven breaches of the 18-month waiting time limit had been identified, none of which had been reported to South East regional office, and 43 of which were due to patients being inappropriately suspended. A disciplinary panel found the mismanagement of waiting lists was her responsibility while she had been director of operations, deputy chief executive, acting chief executive and then chief executive at the trust.

It was not clear whether Ms Nicholls would be appealing, as HSJ went to press.