Wide Bay Hospital and Health board chair Peta Jamieson and former CEO Adrian Pennington.
Wide Bay Hospital and Health board chair Peta Jamieson and former CEO Adrian Pennington. Tahlia Stehbens

Minister wants more info on health boss 'sacking'

TECHNICALITIES in the ongoing sacking saga of the region's most senior health boss have emerged, as the health minister calls for more information.

Health Minister Steven Miles yesterday received "materials" about the termination of former Wide Bay Health boss Adrian Pennington.

However, he called for more information before making an assessment.

The law says the minister must approve the termination of a health service chief executive for it to come into effect.

This raised the questions of whether Mr Pennington was technically still employed by the board, despite Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service board chair Peta Jamieson saying he had been "terminated effective immediately".

The Chronicle understands Mr Pennington continues to draw a wage.

Asked whether it was appropriate to use the phrase "terminated effective immediately" given the obvious internal sensitivities, Ms Jamieson only responded with "all standard processes are being followed".

Both Ms Jamieson and a spokeswoman for Mr Miles said it would be inappropriate to comment further.

Former Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service board chairman Dominic Devine said it was encouraging to see the minister undertaking his due diligence on what was an important matter.

While giving Mr Miles credit for his call for more information, Mr Devine said as a means of transparency he would like to see the minister go one step further and initiate an external review.

Since Mr Pennington's dismissal, there has been a wave of support in the form of a protest outside the Bundaberg Hospital and a petition, signed by more than 500 people, calling for his reinstatement.