Published: 16/06/2005, Volume II5, No. 5960 Page 14

Consultants and senior medical staff are being balloted on a motion of 'no confidence' in an acute trust board, following a similar vote by non-medical unions.

Doctors at Pennine Acute Hospitals trust, in Lancashire, are voting on a hardline eight-point 'no confidence' motion that condemns the board for a series of alleged problems, including failing to behave in an open and trustworthy manner and lacking an effective clinical governance system.

Several points cover failures to communicate or to involve medical staff 'in a meaningful way' over service developments, while problems with the implementation of the new consultant contract are also highlighted. The motion concludes by accusing the board of 'failure of patient care' because of its other alleged shortcomings.

The postal ballot, which ends on 21 June, follows a vote of 'no confidence' in the executive directors by members of the central shop stewards committee representing 16 union branches at the four-site trust.