Hospital boss Adrian Pennington was told to walk today.
Hospital boss Adrian Pennington was told to walk today. Katie Hall

Why health boss was sacked in bombshell move

WIDE Bay health boss Adrian Pennington has been sensationally sacked.

The man who helped drive the region's business case for a new Bundaberg hospital and transformed the region's health service delivery was ordered to pack up his desk and leave his office immediately today.

Staff were left shocked by the swiftness of his departure after being informed mid-afternoon.

The NewsMail understands there were irreconcilable differences and personality clashes between Mr Pennington and members of the board which had led to a breakdown in relationship.

The decision to remove the  CEO had to be made by the board's chair Peta Jamieson, Health Minister Steven Miles said.

Mr Pennington, who earned $453,000 in the last financial year, had recently taken extended leave for personal reasons.

"The Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board wishes to advise that the contract of Adrian Pennington as the chief executive of Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service has been terminated, effective immediately," a statement issued by the health board said.

"Debbie Carroll, executive director of the Bundaberg Hospital Redevelopment, will assume the role of acting chief executive until further notice.

"The Board wishes to emphasise its ongoing commitment to deliver the best possible health care to the Wide Bay community.

"The Board is unable to make further comment at this time."

Burnett MP Stephen Bennett called for a full explanation on behalf of the community.

Mr Bennett said the region's health service was the shining light in Queensland Health under Mr Pennington's leadership.  "It beggars belief no solution could have been found, that whatever problem there was could not have been worked through and warranted such a drastic measure," Mr Bennett said.

He said Ms Jamieson had been a political appointment by the Labor government.

Late yesterday, Ms Jamieson said it was disappointing there was any inference the decision to remove Mr Pennington was political in nature.

Ms Jamieson said there was no truth to speculation  she was intending to run at the next state election.

She did say there had been a great team at the organisation that had delivered great results over the past five years.
Mr Pennington was announced as the CEO of the health service in 2012, and brought more than 20 years experience working in senior roles in the British National Health Service  with him.

Last year he won  awards including Healthcare Chief Executive of the Year and  last month was elected chair of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association board.

He oversaw a team of 3228 full-time equivalent employees with an operating revenue of more than $646.9m.