A SENIOR health chief has been stripped of her leading role as part of a management restructure in the wake of the waiting list scandal.
Jackie Sansbury has lost her position as chief operating officer and will concentrate on her other job overseeing the new Sick Kids.
The change has been made as part of NHS Lothian’s integration of corporate management and acute services management, which means the chief operating officer post no longer exists.
But sources within the health board said Mrs Sansbury was “carrying the can” for the waiting times fiasco.
The creation of the integrated team, which comes into force today, is aimed at bridging a gap between clinical staff and senior bosses at NHS Lothian.
It is one part of a raft of “radical” new measures being introduced following the publication of reports that told of a “bullying culture” within the health board and revealed that staff had been deliberately falsifying waiting list figures in a bid to hit targets.
A senior source in NHS Lothian told the Evening News: “Jackie Sansbury is a very senior person within the health board. NHS Lothian are going to try to spin this out as a management restructure, saying they want to provide for the new Sick Kids – but this is a demotion.
“It is a reflection of the fact that Jackie Sansbury, through her leadership, has failed in the waiting times scandal. It’s a way of taking responsibility while saving face in some way. She is carrying the can for the waiting times fiasco because she was in charge of the Lothian hospital division.”
Mrs Sansbury, a nurse who moved into management in 1994, was appointed chief operating officer in June 2010, having previously held the title of director of strategic planning and modernisation.
As “project sponsor” she will work alongside contractors who will eventually be appointed to build the new Sick Kids’ hospital, to ensure the project meets clinical requirements.
A full review of management structure within NHS Lothian is to begin once a permanent chief executive is appointed. Interviews are to be held this month, with the new chief executive to be announced in August.
As well as a management restructure, a new code of practice and set of values are to be agreed with staff, managers within acute services are to be reviewed to assess competence and a new confidential whistleblowing line is to be set up.
Tom Waterson, Lothian branch chairman for Unison, said: “I welcome the move to have a look at the management structure within NHS Lothian, particularly in the acute division. Without doubt, they are making huge strides forward to address the problems of the past.”
Tim Davison, NHS Lothian’s interim chief executive, said: “We have taken the decision to merge corporate management and those who manage our acute hospitals to create one integrated team. As a result, the post of chief operating officer is not currently required. A full review of the management structure within NHS Lothian, including the implications of the integration of health and social care, will take place once a permanent appointment has been made to the post of chief executive.
“Jackie Sansbury will continue as project sponsor for the new Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Children and Young People’s Hospital [Sick Kids]. This is an extremely important capital project and Mrs Sansbury will have a key role in driving this project forward and supporting our plans to create a centre of excellence and major trauma centre at Little France.”