Burnley's battle ends in consultants' victory

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 12 November 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1249
  1. L Dillner

    Consultants at an NHS trust hospital in Lancashire won a long and bitter dispute with management last week when Dr Sam Pickens, the medical director, resigned. He did so after over 50 consultants at Burnley Health Care Trust threatened to pass a vote of no confidence in the trust's board if he did not give up his post. He will return to being a full time consultant physician at the hospital.

    Doctors had already passed two votes of no confidence in Dr Pickens - the first in early September, when he was criticised for not consulting them on medical issues. Tension increased at the trust when Mr Ian Mahady, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, was made redundant. On 15 September Mr Mahady, was told by Dr Pickens and David Meakin a senior manager to clear his desk and leave the hospital in three hours. Less than two weeks later consultants passed their second vote of no confidence in Dr Pickens in protest at his involvement in Mr Mahady's departure. At that time the trust's board stood by …

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