St Clare's campaigners distances themselves from councillor
Hospice campaigners have distanced themselves from a councillor accused of bullying one of the borough’s top NHS bosses.
Following an investigation, standards chiefs at South Tyneside Council recommended independent councillor John Robertson be banned from contacting South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and having his other communications limited for six months.
The sanctions followed offensive emails Cllr Robertson sent to Matt Brown, the CCG’s executive director of operations and a key figure in plans to overhaul end of life care in South Tyneside following the collapse of the former St Clare’s Hospice, in Jarrow.
In Facebook posts Robertson called Brown insults and accused him of ‘betraying the people’, among other insults, over controversial proposals for the future of palliative care.
Following thedecision, Kay Smith, a former nurse who ran a ‘People’s Petition’ campaign in a last ditch attempt to see the hospice reopened, said she still hoped to work with the CCG.
“Whatever Cllr Robertson does is nothing to do with us,” she said.
“We still work with the CCG and treat them with respect, it’s the only way to deal with them.
“We have a respect for each other, Matt Brown respects the way we’ve run the campaign and he respects the people of South Tyneside.”