Health Minister signs off on Pennington termination
AFTER months of deliberation, Health Minister Steven Miles has approved the decision of Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service board chair Peta Jamieson to terminate the employment of CEO Adrian Pennington.
A spokesperson for the minister confirmed the decision to the NewsMail yesterday afternoon, two and a half months after news first broke of his "immediate termination". The initial termination announcement on September 30, set into motion a series of events including two health board members tendering their resignation as well as a rally and petition in favour of Mr Pennington retaining his position.
Details also emerged that Mr Pennington had suffered a temporary mental health crisis.
"After considering legal advice and material provided by the board, and following all appropriate processes, the Minister has approved the decision of the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Chair to terminate the employment of the Chief Executive," the spokesperson said.
"Debbie Carroll will remain interim CE while a recruitment process is undertaken.
"In the meantime the fantastic Wide Bay HHS staff will continue to deliver world class health services, including planning a brand new hospital for Bundaberg."
Last week the NewsMail reported that throughout the past few months, Mr Pennington was still being paid his $400,000-plus annual salary and retained vehicle privileges while the minister deliberated on ratifying his removal.
There were also reports that Mr Pennington had started writing a book about his career in the health industry, promising to cast the spotlight on "the good, the bad and the ugly".
Ms Jamieson previously told the NewsMail that the decision to terminate was very carefully considered and not made lightly.