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Plum job for scandal hit boss GOING: Dr Helen Moss.

Byline: ALISON DAYANI

THE nursing boss of Stafford Hospital, where up to 1,200 patients died needlessly in appalling conditions, has landed a plum new "development role" in the NHS.

Dr Helen Moss was in charge of nursing and governance at Mid Staffordshire Foundation NHS Trust when shocking care, a severe lack of nurses and management failings led to higher than normal death rates.

But the Sunday Mercury has discovered Dr Moss, who earns an estimated pounds 100,000-a-year, is to leave Stafford Hospital at the end of nextweek for a better role at another health trust.

She joined Mid Staffordshire Trust in 2006 and had a seat on the executive board, helping make vital decisions on the running of the hospital, particularly nursing care. Julie Bailey, who set up the Cure the NHS campaign group to fight for patientswho died at Stafford Hospital, including her mother Isabella, said: "Dr Moss was part of all the failings, so it's a huge relief that she is leaving.

"She has never been reprimanded for her role in the ordeal patients went through. I believe all the board members in place while people were dying unnecessarily should have been replaced." Of the Trust board members in place during the failings, chairmanToni Brisby resigned ahead of a damning Healthcare Commission report in March.

Chief executive Martin Yeates resigned in May from his pounds 169,000-a-year position before an internal report into his role was finished. It was claimed he walked away with a pounds 350,000 tax-free lump sum and will draw a pension of pounds 65,000 a year.

Dr Moss is now the third trust board member to leave.

Campaigner Ken Lownds, from Keep Our NHS Public, based in North Staffordshire, said: "Iamglad to see Dr Moss leave Stafford. But how can the NHS simply reallocate thiswoman to another high paid job?" The Healthcare Commission report had revealed abysmal failings at "virtually every stage" of care were a direct result of managers making unrelenting cuts to achieve financial targets between 2005 and 2008. Nursing came particularly under fire as 297 job cuts were made at the Trust from 2005 to 2008, leaving only three matrons and a ratio of nurses to patients by the end of 2007 of about one to 15, compared to the recommended one to six.

Pain Investigators found receptionists even carried out initial checks on patients at Stafford A&E due to lack of nurses and doctors. Heart monitorswere also turned off because nurses did not know how to use them and nursing shortages compromised care with call buttons going unanswered when patients were in pain or needed the toilet.

An evidence session to the Government's Health Select Committee in June also commented on lack of clinical governance, which Dr Moss led.

Claire Hall, spokeswoman for Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, would not disclose where Dr Moss was moving to, but said: "After three challenging years as Director of Nursing, Dr Helen Moss will leave the Trust at the end of October.

"Following the Healthcare Commission Investigation and the subsequent action planning phase, Helen feels the time is now right to hand over nursing leadership to someone new.'' The latest inquiry into events at Stafford Hospital, chaired by Robert Francis QC, gets under way on November 2 at Stafford Technology Park.

CAPTION(S):

CAMPAIGNER: Julie Bailey GOING: Dr Helen Moss
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Oct 25, 2009
Words:561
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