Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust: Mason Fitzgerald withdraws application

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust: Mason Fitzgerald withdraws application

An incoming NHS Trust chief executive who was facing an inquiry into his qualifications has withdrawn his application for the role.

Mason Fitzgerald was due to take up the position at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT).

A Master of Laws degree had appeared by his name on annual reports submitted to Parliament, but the University of Georgia said he had not graduated.

Mr Fitzgerald will return to the East London Foundation Trust.

NSFT had commissioned a leading law firm to investigate after the BBC revealed the discrepancy.

In an internal email seen by the BBC, the trust’s chairwoman Marie Gabriel said Mr Fitzgerald had been clear about his qualifications.

She said: “Mason submitted two applications for roles at NSFT, in both he was clear with the trust that he did not have a masters of law qualification from the University of Georgia.

“We confirmed that he did have all relevant qualifications”.

Ms Gabriel added that the review had found NSFT “had and continues to have a robust recruitment process in place”.

The trust confirmed Mr Fitzgerald had “withdrawn his application for the role of chief executive at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust”.

It added: “The independent review concluded that NSFT has robust recruitment processes in place.”

The trust said the review had found it should strengthen its process regarding information submitted for inclusion in annual reports.

Current NSFT chief executive Jonathan Warren is set to retire on 31 March.

The trust is currently looking for an interim chief executive prior to appointing a permanent successor.

The East London Foundation Trust (ELFT) said Mr Fitzgerald would return “to ELFT from which he was seconded”.

The trust added: “It would be inappropriate to comment any further at this stage while ELFT’s processes remain ongoing.”

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