A FORMER Oxfordshire council boss who left with a £180k pay-out has a new job as a health chief.

David Hill was the joint chief executive of South Oxfordshire District Council and Vale of White Horse District Council between September 2016 and June 2017.

He then went on to work as interim chief executive at Three Rivers District Council in Hertfordshire, a 29-week long job for which he was paid £113k.

Now, the former council leader has a new role, having been employed by NHS Improvements as the System Improvement Director at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust in August this year.

His role, according to an official announcement, is newly created and will see him act as a ‘critical friend’ to the trust, to improve its ‘quality, safety, operational performance and efficiency’.

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In November 2017, the Local Democracy Reporting Service revealed that councillors were banned from discussing his departure.

Leaked council papers showed there had been a ‘loss of trust and confidence’ in the then-chief exec by senior councillors.

The papers showed South Oxfordshire District Council spent £200,000 on a compensation package for the council boss’ departure, £180,000 of which was a pay-out for Mr Hill, with the remaining money being used to pay legal fees.

Councillors were also sworn not to talk about the reason behind Mr Hill leaving the council, agreeing only to insert ‘positive quotes’ in a press release announcing his exit.

In the press release, it was said the reason for Mr Hill’s departure was to pursue other opportunities following an extended period of care leave due to illness in the family.

The secret report said South and Vale councils considered suspending him from his post but added a pay-off was preferable because a ‘thorough investigation’ would have ‘tied up’ officials.

Mr Hill was previously the chief executive of Guildford Borough Council, but left that authority in 2013 after a four-month investigation into his conduct.

The investigation was ditched after he left and that council did not disclose the nature of the grievance.

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When contacted about Mr Hill’s employment, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust released a joint-statement on behalf of several organisations.

These included NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG; Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust; and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

The statement said: “David was appointed to this post after an open, transparent and competitive recruitment process.

“He was the candidate unanimously chosen by senior representatives of all Worcestershire’s NHS organisations and NHS England and NHS Improvement because of his skills, knowledge and experience of delivering major improvement and transformation programmes across the public sector.

“All appropriate checks were carried out as would be the case in any senior and high-profile appointment of this kind.”

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