A governor of North Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals Foundation Trust has resigned after raising concerns about a blood stained chair with local media.
The foundation trust confirmed to HSJ it had investigated the actions of Matthew Brown, who is also a Labour councillor in the area, after he photographed blood stained chairs in the Grimsby Hospital accident and emergency department.
After raising the issue with the trust, Councillor Brown took his complaint to local media.
The trust then began an investigation into his conduct, and he resigned as North East Lincolnshire Council’s representative on the council of governors.
The foundation trust is one of 14 which the NHS Commissioning Board said, following the Francis inquiry report, would be reviewed because they had higher than expected mortality rates for two successive years.
Trust director of clinical and quality assurance Wendy Booth said the “situation with councillor Matthew Brown doesn’t relate to whistleblowing”.
She said in a statement: “It relates to the governor code of conduct and his behaviour after he had openly raised the issue of the chairs with the trust and had received a formal response.
“The response he received made it clear the chairs were not an infection control risk as they are regularly steam cleaned but they were nevertheless being replaced with ones that are less likely to become stained.
“He was absolutely right to raise his concerns about the chairs but he was already aware of the trust’s response to these concerns when he approached the media.”
Councillor Brown told the Grimsby Telegraph: “My personal policy is to do everything to the best of my ability and I feel that I can’t do that on the Council of Governors if, whenever I make a criticism, the NHS try to clip my wings.
He added: “This investigation into my conduct is a great waste of public money which is extremely valuable with ever-shrinking budgets and would be better invested in providing frontline services.”
Information supplied to HSJ