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Chair who was ‘not always honest’ in old job gets NHSE’s ‘full support’

Published on: 31 Aug 2023

An integrated care board chair is keeping her job despite complaints being upheld against her in a previous role, it has emerged.

Danielle Oum left her position as Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust chair last October.

It later emerged that an independent investigation carried out the month before her departure, the results of which were leaked to HSJ, had upheld several complaints against her and found she did not always act with “honesty, truthfulness and clarity”.

She was appointed to the ICB position in October 2021, four months before the complaints were made against her by an individual at the trust.

But NHS England now says it has reviewed the matter and concluded that it “continue[s] to offer Danielle our full support in her role as chair of Coventry and Warwickshire ICB”.

The original review – commissioned by BSMHFT and carried out by independent investigator Janet King – added that, on some occasions, Ms Oum’s behaviours “exhibited a disregard for most of the Nolan principles” and that they were “inconsistent with most of the values of the trust”.

It concluded Ms Oum failed to follow proper processes when suspending a colleague and “put undue pressure” on the complainant to secure the resignation of another colleague.

Following the independent investigation, which upheld 16 complaints against Ms Oum in total, NHSE carried out its own review of the issues.

NHSE said its review involved a “rigorous fact-finding process” and it was grateful to those who raised “freedom to speak up” concerns.

It said in a statement: “A thorough review has taken place at regional and national level, and the committee responsible for adjudicating these issues has delivered what we believe is a fair decision.

“The review has provided important lessons for all organisations and individuals involved and we continue to offer Danielle our full support in her role as chair of Coventry and Warwickshire ICB.”

HSJ has approached Ms Oum for comment.