By: Natalie Akoorie

Brett Paradine has been on leave for a few weeks and will not return to work. Photo / Te Awamutu Courier

A key member of former Waikato District Health Board chief executive Dr Nigel Murray’s inner circle has resigned, effective immediately.

Waikato Hospital executive director Brett Paradine’s resignation was announced this morning in a memo from interim chief executive Derek Wright.

Paradine has been on leave for the past couple of weeks and was not expected to return to work, DHB spokeswoman Lydia Aydon said.

It was unclear why Paradine, who has worked for the board for 14 years, resigned.

Paradine started with Waikato DHB in 2003 as planning and funding manager. In 2014 he covered the role of chief operating officer after Jan Adams left.

In July 2015, after a restructure by Murray in which the executive management team grew from 12 to 17, Paradine was appointed to his current role in charge of the 600-bed tertiary hospital.

In November last year Paradine came under fire publicly from 13 orthopaedic surgeons at the hospital, who accused managers of stopping them from making follow-up checks on patients so they could instead assess new patients to meet national health targets.

One young woman’s elective surgery was postponed at least twice, allegedly putting her at risk of paralysis, because a surgeon had to do more First Specialist Assessments (FSAs) on new patients.

Paradine told the Herald then the directive was a miscommunication and there was pressure to provide a timely service to patients, not to meet health targets.

He said no elective surgeries would be postponed if the patient was acutely ill and any delays were approved by the surgeon.

Aydon said she did not know what Paradine’s future plans were. The Herald has left a message with Paradine for comment.

Dr Grant Howard, the clinical unit leader for critical care, has stepped into Paradine’s role temporarily.

Murray resigned last month amid an expenses scandal and was subsequently found to have spent $218,000 of taxpayer money travelling for work in the three years he was CEO.

He spent more than double the agreed $25,000 to move from Canada in June 2014, including six months of accommodation for two people paid for by taxpayers.

He also made a series of international trips, which the DHB has now invoiced to Murray. It’s understood they were not authorised.

A report by Audit New Zealand into the process and management, including the authorisation, of Murray’s expenses is expected to be heard behind closed doors at the board’s Audit and Risk Committee meeting tomorrow morning.

Aydon said given the public interest the DHB hoped to release the findings soon after.

Source: NZ Herald

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