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Whistleblower guardian resigns after two months


7 March 2016

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Dame Eileen Sills has announced her resignation from her role as the national guardian for speaking up safely within the NHS, just two months after she took on the role.

She was appointed to the new role in January, and is also chief nurse at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.

Dame Eileen Sills has announced her resignation from her role as the national guardian for speaking up safely within the NHS, just two months after she took on the role.

She was appointed to the new role in January, and is also chief nurse at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.

She said: “It has been a very difficult decision to take but after two months it is very clear that it is not possible to combine the role of the national guardian – and establishment of the office – with the increasing challenges NHS providers face, while doing justice to both roles.”

Responding to the resignation, David Behan, chief executive of CQC, said he was “disappointed” Sills’ resignation “but I respect her honesty in making this difficult decision”.

A new appointment process will begin immediately, he stated, and the work of setting up the office of the National Guardian will continue as planned, “with a focus on supporting and working with freedom to speak up guardians in NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts".

Sir Robert Francis QC has offered non-executive support to the Office of the National Guardian until a new appointment is made.

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