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Former director of public health "profoundly worried" by lack of accountability at NHS Croydon

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A FORMER health chief has blasted senior NHS officials for refusing to take part in an investigation into a financial scandal at Croydon's now defunct primary care trust (PCT).
Speaking ahead of the release of the report into the £28 million overspend on Thursday, Dr Peter Brambleby, described the lack of accountability shown by figures such as the trust's former chief executive, as "profoundly worrying".
Dr Brambleby stepped down as Croydon's director of public health in February last year due to his concerns over the way in which NHS Croydon's finances were being managed.
It later emerged that the PCT had posted a £5 million surplus in 2010/11 when it had actually overspent by £23 million.
Five councils across south London set up a inquiry after a £1 million independent investigation uncovered mismanagement but found no on responsible.
However, its attempts to get to the truth have been hampered by a refusal to take part from key figures, such as former chief executive Caroline Taylor and Mark Phillips, the deputy director of finance who made unwarranted adjustments to the accounts while working "largely unsupervised".
Two current Croydon councillors also declined to give evidence
 "It's profoundly worrying when senior offiers of the NHS do not see the need to account to the population they serve for their stewardship of NHS funds and services," Dr Brambleby told the Advertiser after the initial findings of the report were accidentially published online.
"It is just as worrying when the supervisory tier, in this case NHS London, appears to have distorted the truth in its briefings to the public and to ministers.
"No system is safe unless people accept personal responsibility when things go wrong and then work to fix them.
"As councillors have found, systems are run by accountable individuals. It is important that those individuals are called to account and learn from this mistake."
NHS Croydon was replaced by Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group as part of health reforms which were rolled out at the start of April.
The South West London Joint Health and Scrutiny Committee's report is due to be published following a final meeting on Thursday (April 25)

Former director of public health


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