Hospital boss in charge when cancer cases admin blunder happened has retired from his top NHS job

Jan Filochowski
Jan Filochowski

It has emerged that the chief executive in charge when administrative errors at Watford General Hospital meant care to cancer patients was delayed has retired from his top post at world renowned children’s hospital Great Ormond Street.

Jan Filochowski oversaw the closure of Hemel Hempstead’s A&E department during his five year reign at West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust.

Since his departure new boss Samantha Jones has uncovered an admin error that meant outpatients with suspected cancer were not sent a second appointment if they missed their initial appointment, but instead were simply discharge.

The trust has already admitted that the failure may have caused the death of one patient and a further 121 cases are still being reviewed.

MPS for the area Mike Penning and David Gauke want to know why the problem was not picked up sooner and why the previous management team had failed to look at whether procedures were being followed properly.

“What is of greater concern, and should absolutely be investigated, is whether this problem is limited to West Herts and if other trusts should also be reviewing their arrangements for patients who miss urgent referrals,” they said.

Last year the trust came under the spotlight for its high number of deaths among hip fracture patients – the figures related to Mr Filochowski’s time with the trust and improvements and monitoring have since been put in place under Ms Jones.

Great Ormond Street Hospital announced in November that Mr Filochowski was retiring.

In a statement released at the time, he said: “When I arrived I said I did not anticipate being chief executive for a lengthy period of time.

“Since the summer, it has become clear to me that the trust needs long-term leadership for the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead and that needs to come from someone who is able to make a longer term commitment than I can.”

In relation to administrative failings under West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust, independent external investigators have been called in to probe what went wrong.

Read more about the background to the blunder - and what to do if you think you or a relative might be affected – here