Former Wide Bay Health CEO Adrian Pennington.
Former Wide Bay Health CEO Adrian Pennington.

Health board member quits after CEO's sacking

WIDE Bay Hospital and Health Services board member Joy Jensen has handed in her resignation to the minister's office.

The former North Burnett mayor has confirmed to the NewsMail she had resigned from the board, but declined to comment further.

Her resignation comes just two days after former hospital CEO Adrian Pennington was dismissed.

In light of the resignation, former board chair Dominic Devine is calling for an external review of the process and for that report to be made public for transparency.

Mr Devine said if he was in the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Services Board chair Peta Jamieson's shoes, an external review would be an appropriate means to provide clarity on the matter.

One of the questions  Mr Devine wants answered relates to why Mr Pennington had to be dismissed on Monday when  a board meeting was scheduled the following day.  "Why didn't she wait 24 hours?"he said.

"What was so important that the matter couldn't be debated at board level?"

On Tuesday Ms Jamieson said under the act, the responsibility for making the ultimate decision rests with the chair.

"I had every confidence before I made the decision that I had the majority support of the board," she said.

Mr Devine said he was led to believe that it was by the narrowest of margins that the decision was endorsed retrospectively.

He said even if the chair  had majority support,  other board members should be able to have their say before a decision is made.

Meanwhile, the board's deputy chair Professor Bryan Burmeister yesterday backed the decision to dismiss Mr Pennington.

Prof Burmeister said he was present when the termination decision was communicated to the former chief executive.

"Leadership in any organisation is not dependent on one individual, and Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service has exceptional talent across all levels, which ensures the best quality healthcare service is delivered to members of the community," Prof Burmeister said.

"While some members of the community may seek to draw conclusions regarding the process and reasoning for the decision, I assure you the decision was carefully considered and one genuinely made in the best interests of our health service and our community.

"The board values engagement with our community, and we've shown that through holding a range of public information sessions, having consumer involvement in our meetings and meeting directly with individual community members.

"We respect the right of community members to raise concerns, and the Board would be happy to meet with patient advocates and community representatives to hear their concerns directly.

"However, there will still be some private and confidential aspects we will not be at liberty to discuss."

A spokesperson from Health and Ambulance Services Minister Steven Miles' office confirmed the minister had received a board member's resignation letter.

In response to the call for an independent review, the spokesperson said the minister stood by his initial comment that the chair was the appropriate person to make the decision.