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Publication date:- 2016-11-17

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 3 news items.    Page - 2.

Outcome of executive disciplinary hearings

SOUTHPORT and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust has confirmed that the disciplinary hearings in respect of allegations against the former Director of Human Resources, Sharon Partington, and the former Chief Operating Officer, Sheilah Finnegan, have now concluded.

Ms Partington resigned and Mrs Finnegan retired from the Trust's employment prior to the conclusion of the disciplinary process. However, due to the nature of the allegations and their seniority, the Trust was obliged to complete the disciplinary process, asking the disciplinary panels to consider what, if any action, would have been taken if the individuals had remained employed by the Trust.

Following Ms Partington's disciplinary hearing, it was determined that the former Director of Human Resources would have been dismissed as a consequence of gross misconduct had she remained in employment. Ms Partington has the right of appeal against the decision.

The decision follows the outcome of a disciplinary hearing which reviewed 8 allegations of misconduct. The disciplinary panel found evidence on 6 counts of misconduct, 1 of which amounted to gross misconduct.

The independent disciplinary panel considered three allegations of misconduct against Mrs Finnegan and determined that the allegations were not proven. The disciplinary panel recommended that had Ms Finnegan remained in employment no disciplinary sanction would have been imposed on her.

The disciplinary panel hearing the allegations against Mrs Finnegan did note that the case involved serious matters arising from whistleblowing complaints. The panel noted that the Trust:- "had no option, but to instigate a thorough investigation" under the relevant policy and then to refer the outcome of the investigation to a disciplinary hearing.

The panels' recommendations have been fully accepted by the Trust Board.

Trust Chair, Mrs Sue Musson, said:- "The overriding objective for the Trust has been to handle this very serious and complex matter appropriately and fairly. I want to thank the panels for conducting the hearings and reviewing all the evidence so diligently. With the conclusion of these hearings, the four disciplinary cases involving Trust senior staff are now complete (subject to appeal). The Board continues to focus on our key priority, delivering high quality, sustainable healthcare services to our local population. I would like, again, to acknowledge the bravery of the individuals who came forward and spoke out about their concerns. Following this difficult time for everyone concerned, the Trust now has an opportunity to focus on the future".

Lights out across Southport for foster care campaign

PEOPLE across Southport are being called on to switch off their lights for one minute on Thursday, 24 November 2016, at 8.30pm, as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the need for more foster carers in the North West of England.

Children's charity CANW (Child Action Northwest) is hoping to turn the lights out right across the North West to symbolise the light and love missing from the lives of more than 1200 children in care across the region.

CANW, which provides foster care, targeted youth support and emotional health services in the borough, is asking Southport residents to film themselves taking part in the event and post their videos on social media to show their support.

Statistics show that more than 1200 new foster families are needed in the North West this year alone; more than in any other region in the country, and almost as many as Yorkshire, Humberside and the North East, put together.  It's hoped the light switch off, which symbolises the light and love missing from the lives of more than 1200 children in care across the region, will encourage people to think about whether they could be a foster carer.

The event is being supported by some of the region's best loved buildings and local churches including the Liver Building, Port of Liverpool, the Blackpool Tower and the dome of intuTrafford centre.

Sue Cotton, CEO of CANW said:- "Last year our 1200 Lights campaign turned out the lights on some landmark buildings in the North West, and we're delighted that many more, including Carlisle Cathedral, Bolton Football Club and the Port of Liverpool Building have agreed to join us for this year's event.  But we also want everyone at home to join in and turn out their lights for one minute to show their support. We've set up the hashtag #1200Lights on Twitter and Facebook, and are asking people to turn off their lights on 24th November to pledge their support. We're hoping people will film their pledge and post the video on social media so we'll be able to see the lights switch off right across the region."

The lights switch off, which is timed for 8.30pm on Thursday 24 November will coincide with the climax of a fundraising concert at Blackburn Cathedral, which will fall into darkness as the final note is sung.

To find out more about how to join in the #1200lights switch off, can be found online.

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