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07
Nov

Investigation into whistleblower’s claims uncovers Chief Executive’s lies


A whistleblower claims she was paid off by an NHS Trust after exposing an affair its married Chief Executive was having with a colleague, reports The Daily Telegraph.


The woman is said to have told Pennine Care Mental Health Trust about John Archer’s extramarital fling in 2005 but he denied the relationship. She says she was then offered a five-figure sum to leave the Trust under a compromise agreement.

The £175,000-a-year boss resigned from the Trust earlier this year while he was being investigated for his behaviour at work. He quit when investigators discovered he had lied during the earlier probe into his affair eight years ago, when Pennine Care investigated the claims but found no conclusive proof.

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk has written to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt calling for an investigation into whether taxpayers’ money was used to protect the former Chief Executive’s reputation.

It is understood Mr Archer admitted to the fling during a new probe carried out earlier this year into “concerns” about his behaviour. The former government health adviser was suspended and remained away from work for five months before quitting in April.

The allegations made against Mr Archer in the recent investigation were not proven but if he had not quit he faced the possibility of being dismissed for gross misconduct for lying in a previous probe, says the paper.

The Telegraph’s story comes hard on the heels of latest research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) which reveals that lying at work is rife within the healthcare profession, with those in managerial positions the worst offenders: more than 35% admitted to “bending the truth” once a day or more, compared to only a quarter of other workers. The CMI’s study found, too, that bosses were also much more likely than other staff to ditch ethics in order to get ahead in their career – almost 30% were prepared to do this, compared with 13% of other health sector workers.

The problem is that organisations such as the NHS are rewarding managers for the wrong type of behaviours, said Patrick Woodman, Head of External Affairs at the CMI.

“The wrong example is being set and other workers are being shown that lying and unethical behaviour is the way that you get on in life,” he told HefmA.

It was particularly important in the wake of the Mid-Staffordshire scandal that managers learned to re-focus on principles, rather than on personal gain, he added.

“It is time to confront unethical behaviour and work towards establishing a management culture where virtue is recognised and rewarded,” said Woodman, who believes that in the current climate, it takes a great deal of personal courage for anyone to come forward to raise concerns about unethical behaviours that are all too common.

On a more positive note, however, the CMI found that most employees believed that setting ethical standards at work was the responsibility of every employee, not just chief executives and managers.

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