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Pay-off for Trust chief attacked

Opposition politicians have attacked a decision to give the former chief executive of an NHS trust a pay-off of up to £75,000.

Rose Gibb left Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust by mutual agreement after a Healthcare Commission report said poor hygiene standards contributed to 90 deaths from Clostridium difficile.

The hospitals involved were the Kent and Sussex Hospital, Pembury Hospital and Maidstone Hospital.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson had ordered the trust to withhold Ms Gibb’s severance payment and seek help from lawyers.

But a trust spokesman said: “The trust has taken legal advice on the matter of the severance agreement for the trust’s former chief executive Rose Gibb, and following that advice she will be paid only her legal entitlement of six months salary.

“Ms Gibb is being informed of this decision.”

Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “All Alan Johnson’s posturing about pay-off arrangements will offer no comfort to the patients and the families affected by the serious C diff outbreak which took place under the chief executive’s watch.”

And Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb added: “This is a major embarrassment for the Health Secretary.

“Pay-offs to senior health executives have become obscene. This is not an isolated case.”

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Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust