Chair of Governors,
James Paget University Hospital
NHS Foundation Trust,
7th February, 2018.
Your ref: AD/CHAIR/LT/LO17082
You have chosen to criticise me personally for my resignation as a Public Councillor of the JPUH. My resignation was because of the Trust’s failure to involve patients and public in discussions do with STPs (now termed Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships).
You said, in your letter of 30th January: “Whilst you are perfectly entitled to hold an individual opinion about the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (SIC) for Norfolk and Waveney, in my view your personal attack is both unwarranted and unreasonable” (my emphatic text colour).
Looking at my resignation letter again, I’m at a loss to see how you’ve arrived at the above conclusions.
To underline what I’m saying, I’ve set out in appendix one to this letter (attached), a tiny sample of the many organisations, which disagree with NHS trusts’ failure to involve patients and public in STP discussions. I concur with their positions and it is as a member of some of them and in concert with them I made my final decision to resign. Although their values parallel my own, it was NOT a personal decision but a concerted stand.
In fact, I discussed the position with senior UNISON colleagues before my resignation. They felt so strongly about it that they wanted to organise group support for me at the council meeting on 19th January, and it was after I had explained to them they would not be able to do so because of the ‘private’ STP meeting. I decided to resign before the 19th to offset possible major disruption for the hospital.
I realise I’m labouring this now but you should be clear that, in mid December I attempted to follow protocol raising a conflict of interest for 12th Dec and 19th Jan. I contacted Ann (Filby) to effect this but Ann said she needed to meet with me to discuss the matter.
As there were issues around disability access too, Ann arranged meetings with Estates first then, with her in tandem, to discuss my conflict of interest. Whether intentional or not, this was a good ‘communication’ move as the meeting with Estates (and Ann would have known this) was far reaching and very positive. I was buoyed up after the Estates discussion and at the meeting with Ann I easily agreed to leave my ‘conflict of interest’ aside for the time being.
I’ve set my mails with Ann about this in appendix two of this letter. It was only on reflection and subsequent revelations regarding ACOs, linked to STPs I realised I still had a duty to resign in the circumstances.
The irony in all this, like a Joseph Heller novel, is: had I known your practice of excluding patients and public from STP discussions I would not have put myself forward for election in the first place. I couldn’t know, of course, because you keep STP secret.
Mike Llywelyn Cox.