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Minister surprises Jersey's States with decision not to recruit new Health Board chair

The Health Minister has surprised Jersey's States, by saying he won't be recruiting a successor to Tom Hayhoe.

The Chair of the Health and Community Services Advisory Board left 'with immediate effect' after just five weeks in post.

We were told it was because of 'differences in working styles'.

The Health Minister had hailed Mr Hayhoe's appointment in February:

“I am pleased to appoint Tom Hayhoe, who is a highly experienced non-executive director and Chair, with an exceptional understanding of health service delivery. I am confident that the skills and knowledge he will bring will help deliver the necessary change”.

Mr Hayhoe's departure was announced on 3 April.

The HCS Advisory Board was set up in June 2023 to oversee improvements in care standards at Health and Community Services following a highly critical report by Professor Hugo Macie Taylor.

Asked in the States on Tuesday (16 April) for a timetable for the appointment of a new chair, the Minister replied that he had taken the decision not to recruit.

"Given that the Assembly is due to review the board arrangement in the spring of 2025 and the recruitment of a new chair would take approximately three to four months, I have decided not to proceed with recruitment at this point in time."

He said a nine month contract would not be attractive to prospective candidates.

The former acting chair has agreed to chair board meetings in the meantime.

Deputy Jonathan Renouf asked Deputy Binet - who previously voted against the board being set up -to confirm that he was not trying to 'get rid of the board.

"I am very happy indeed to confirm that... I made it plain at time that I didn't object to a board at all, but I thought that the single point of failure - of having the board report to the Health Minister only - wasn't acceptable, and that is a matter that I intend to address as soon as I can, Sir."

Deputy Binet also refused to be drawn on any more details about what went wrong.

"I can confirm that I have made an arrangement with Mr Hayhoe that we would say nothing further, and I intend to stick to that."

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