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CEO of national NHS agency resigns ahead of CQC report

Published on: 9 Aug 2022

NHS Blood and Transplant’s chief executive has resigned ahead of the release of a Care Quality Commission report into the agency’s leadership. 

Betsy Bassis has stepped down from NHSBT “with immediate effect”, a spokeswoman confirmed to HSJ.

HSJ revealed last month a review was being carried out following bullying and harassment allegations made against NHSBT leaders, with whistleblowers having raised concerns to the CQC. 

HSJ understands NHSBT is due to receive a draft of the review shortly, with the full review expected to be published next month.

Wendy Clark, NHSBT’s chief strategy, digital and information officer, has taken up Ms Bassis’ role on an interim basis until a permanent appointment is made.

In an email to staff, seen by HSJ, NHSBT chair Peter Wyman said: “I am very conscious that we can further improve the way we work. Like every good organisation, we should always be challenging ourselves to do even better.

“In particular, I want to ensure we have a culture that enables each of us to be our best, that encourages everyone to speak up without fear or favour if they see something wrong or something which might be done better.

“I want a culture where everyone is valued for who they are and what they contribute. There can be no place for any form of discrimination, bullying or harassment.

“As well as making this a great place to work, it will also help us to be as productive as possible. Ultimately, our costs fall on the NHS and every pound we can save is another pound available to the NHS.”

Ms Bassis had been chief executive of NHSBT since March 2019.

She previously served as the director general and chief operating officer of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for nearly five years, and was director of strategy at British Gas before that.

An NHSBT spokeswoman said: “Betsy Bassis has resigned as the chief executive officer with immediate effect.

“Wendy Clark, an experienced member of the executive team, has taken up the role while a permanent replacement is found.”