Joe Liddane: 'I have come to the conclusion that I cannot dedicate the necessary time and focus to the affairs of Whittington Health'
Published: 20 August, 2013
by TOM FOOT
THE chairman of Whittington Hospital has resigned to spend more time with his ageing parents.
Joe Liddane, who took the helm at the Highgate NHS Trust six years ago, has been on leave for the past three months.
He said: “Reluctantly, having spent most of the past eight weeks with my 90-plus-year-old parents, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot dedicate the necessary time and focus to the affairs of Whittington Health while at the same time supporting them.
“I have been honoured to be chairman of the Trust since early November 2007. The organisation has come a long way during that time with many successes including the integration with Islington and Haringey community health services in 2011.
“The management and staff can be proud of the Trust’s safety record which makes the organisation one of the safest in the country.
“Whittington Health has changed greatly over the past six years and will continue to do so, as it adjusts to the needs of the local population and the wider NHS.”
Mr Liddane and the hospital’s board faced intense criticism earlier this year over a decision to slash jobs, beds and sell off publicly owned buildings without consulting the public or politicians.
The move was scrapped in June following a massive campaign and demonstration led by the Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition, the New Journal and its sister paper Islington Tribune.
Whittington Health’s chief executive Dr Yi Mien Koh said: “I have really enjoyed working with Joe. He has devoted an enormous amount of time and energy to the organisation for which we are extremely grateful. His experience and knowledge has been invaluable and his leadership will be greatly missed.”
The NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) is responsible for the appointment of chairs and non-executive directors at NHS trusts and will take on the process for appointing a successor.
Robert Aitken, the Trust’s deputy chairman, continues as acting chairman in the meantime.