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Exclusive: BHRUT chief executive Averil Dongworth to retire

Averil Dongworth Averil Dongworth

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
9:55 AM

Averil Dongworth, the chief executive of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) is leaving her post as the troubled trust goes through special measures.

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The news, which has not yet been publicly announced, comes just weeks after the shock resignation of trust chairman Sir Peter Dixon.

Ms Dongworth is understood to be taking retirement at the end of the month.

Special measures are imposed by the NHS when trust managers are not considered capable of resolving systematic failings.

The NHS Trust Development Authority has appointed an improvement director to oversee a plan to bring services up to standard and the results of a review of senior management have not yet been announced.

Speaking in December, Ms Dongworth reassured patients that it would be “business as usual” at Queen’s and King George.

She added: “We must now all work together to address the long-term issues that we have been facing once and for all.”

She had been in the post for three years and entered the NHS as a nurse before moving into management in 1991.

The scale of BHRUT’s budget problems was revealed by trust board papers last month, with the deficit at the end of December expected to reach between £27million and £33m.

The A&E at King George Hospital, Goodmayes, which has historically performed much better than Queen’s, is due to be shut in 2015 as part of a huge reconfiguration of services at both hospitals.

The embattled trust has been in special measures since December after a watchdog issued a damning report exposing unsafe A&Es, understaffing, long waiting times and poor planning at Queen’s Hospital and King George Hospital.

We are awaiting a comment from BHRUT.

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