NHS trust chief Sir Leonard Fenwick sacked over 'inappropriate behaviour'

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An NHS chief executive has been sacked for gross misconduct following an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Sir Leonard Fenwick, who has been at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for 40 years, had been on gardening leave since January as the investigation was carried out.

A statement from the trust said "allegations relating to inappropriate behaviour, use of resources and a range of governance issues" had been proven against him.

The trust said, due to the serious nature of the findings, it had reported a number of concerns to the NHS counter fraud and security management services.

It said: "After giving very careful consideration to all the evidence presented at the two-day hearing, the disciplinary panel found that allegations relating to inappropriate behaviour, use of resources and a range of governance issues were proven.

"As a result the panel took the decision to dismiss Sir Leonard from his role as chief executive on the grounds of gross misconduct.

"This decision was not taken lightly, but made after very careful, lengthy and detailed consideration of the investigation report and Sir Leonard's response to the allegations."

Sir Leonard appealed against the decision and a second panel was convened but it upheld the original decision.

The statement said: "The first priority of the board of directors and our highly skilled and committed staff is always to provide the highest quality of care to our patients, and they have diligently and very successfully maintained and enhanced that focus in recent months and will continue to do so."