Finance boss leaves University Hospital of North Staffordshire amid debt crisis
THE finance director at Staffordshire's biggest hospital is to leave his job amid a financial crisis which has seen debts spiral to a reported £27 million.
John Maddison's shock departure comes just 11 months after he was appointed as the University Hospital of North Staffordshire's finance director.
Mr Maddison, pictured below, has warned of looming financial upheaval as the hospital's debts last month hit £16 million.
But sources close to the hospital now say that figure has risen to around £27 million.
Visiting the Home & Garden show this Sunday?
We will have some exclusive deals for you so make sure you visit our stand and say hello
Terms: With free entry just visit the show at the Moat House hotel Festival Park between 11am and 4pm and pick up a leaflet
Contact: 01782 342609
Valid until: Sunday, June 23 2013
It is understood Department of Health officials are behind the departure of Mr Maddison, who leaves his post next week.
And other senior executives have been summoned to the region's strategic health authority this month to explain the reasons for the overspend.
Details of the hospital's current financial position – which should have been released yesterday – have now been held back until Tuesday.
The rising debts have been blamed on the cost of extra patients attending the accident unit, fines for failing to hit A&E targets, and the reopening of 80 beds which has already cost £7 million in six months.
The 1,100-bed hospital – which has a £400 million annual budget – must also pay £50 million-a-year in mortgage payments following the building of the super-hospital.
Union leaders and health campaigners have been left baffled by Mr Maddison's surprise departure.
Unison's hospital branch secretary Rob Irving said: "Although here for such a short time, John was highly respected and professional.
"He would share financial projections with us and seemed to be taking the trust in the right direction.
"That is why we are so surprised to hear about his departure and we would now like to know what the financial future is for the hospital."
Ian Syme, co-ordinator of campaign group North Staffordshire Healthwatch, said: "We are absolutely stunned by this.
"Counting the interims, it means the trust has had four finance directors in recent times. Yet with all the problems facing the University Hospital, it needs a stable regime and that stability should start at the top with chief executive Julia Bridgewater."
Mr Maddison arrived at the Hartshill complex from a hospital in North Tees and Hartlepool with impeccable credentials having served that area for 27 years.
The hospital will now install another interim executive before advertising for a permanent successor in the New Year.
The hospital today confirmed Mr Maddison was leaving to pursue other opportunities closer to his home in County Durham.
Mrs Bridgewater said: "Mr Maddison has worked extremely hard to manage a very challenging financial agenda."