Allitt executive given new job: 'Career move' for manager at hospital where nurse killed children

THE MANAGER of the hospital where the nurse Beverly Allitt murdered four children and injured another 26 has been given a 'career development move' to a senior National Health Service executive post in a neighbouring county.

Martin Gibson, unit general manager of Grantham and Kesteven Hospital in Lincolnshire until June last year, left the hospital to make way for a 'different type of management and leadership', Trent regional health authority said. Mr Gibson has been appointed director of corporate affairs at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

In a letter, Sir Michael Carlisle, chairman of the authority, also told David Blunkett, Labour's health spokesman, that the authority had so far paid more than pounds 114,000 to a public relations company, Westminster Strategy, to deal with media inquiries about the Allitt case. The total provided by Trent to the hospital to cope with the aftermath of the Allitt murders has so far risen to pounds 500,000.

Mr Blunkett repeated his call for a public inquiry into the case after meeting parents of Beverly Allitt's Ward 4 victims. 'Virginia Bottomley, (Secretary of State for Health) has something to hide, and is refusing a simple common-sense request for openness.'

He scorned the expenditure of more than pounds 114,000 for 'fending off' the media.

But David Robertson, account director for Westminster Strategy, defended the health authority's decision to hire the company.

He said: 'It is patently obvious that the hospital management could not cope with the extraordinary demands being made by the media since last summer - they have a hospital to run.'

Westminster Strategy says it has handled more than 1,000 inquiries on behalf of the authority, employing five people full-time on the Allitt case.

Beverly Allitt was sentenced last week to life imprisonment on each of 13 charges of murder, attempted murder and assault in 1991.

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