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NHS 24 chief executive resigns

16th October 2007

Sandy Forrest, chief executive of the telephone and online service NHS 24, has handed in his resignation, only six months after joining the organisation.

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The service's chairman Allan Watson stated that Mr Forrest, had resigned due to "external commitments".

He said: "It is with regret that the board of NHS 24 has accepted the resignation of Sandy Forrest as chief executive."

Mr Forrest's decision was made a fortnight after an investigation into toddler Kyle Brown's death found that it might have been prevented if staff at the helpline had sent an ambulance.

An NHS 24 spokeswoman denied there was a connection between his decision and the outcome of the inquiry.

The death of 20-month old Kyle Brown, from meningococcal septicaemia, occurred in April 2006. His mother took him to hospital in Edinburgh in a taxi because staff at the helpline had not thought that an ambulance should be called.

The toddler was treated at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children but died the next day.

In an investigation into the incident at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Sheriff Andrew Lothian said the child's death might not have occurred if staff had made an emergency call for an ambulance to transfer him to hospital.

Since the incident the organisation has changed its call protocol and provided training for its staff.

Mr Watson said Mr Forrest had found it "impossible" to balance his external commitments "with his responsibilities at NHS 24...hence his decision to step down."

"We respect him for doing so and wish him continued success in his career in the future."





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