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Disgust at £250,000 payoff demand of superbug boss’

PUBLISHED: 16:25 09 April 2008 | UPDATED: 11:11 12 August 2010

RELATIVES of superbug victims have branded the decision by a former health boss to sue for more severance pay as disgusting. Rose Gibb, 47, resigned as the head of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust days before a damning report on the handling of

RELATIVES of superbug victims have branded the decision by a former health boss to sue for more severance pay as "disgusting."

Rose Gibb, 47, resigned as the head of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust days before a damning report on the handling of Clostridium difficile outbreaks.

She was employed by Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust from 1987 until 2001, working her way from a nurse to operations director at the Trust in 1998.

On Monday she lodged papers in the High Court appealing against the £75,000 she received when she quit her job in October last year.

John Restell, chief executive of the union Managers in Partnership, confirmed she is suing for the rest of a £250,000 'contractual agreement'.

Ms Gibb, of Manor Road, Sole Street, Cobham, received half of her £150,000 salary when healthcare commission report revealed that C-diff, a bacterial infection that affects the gut, was the cause of the death of 90 patients.

Bryan Wakeman's father, Leslie Wakeman, 85, of Mounts Road, Greenhithe, died in February last year after he contracted the condition at Darent Valley Hospital.

He said: "It's disgusting that she is trying to get that amount of money.

"The families of those victims who died at that hospital because of the superbug must be devastated. No words can describe how they must feel.

"Somebody is to blame for what happened at the hospital, but can we lay all of the blame entirely on her?

"In a court of law, if she was owed the money under contract, then I suppose she is entitled to her payout."

Leslie Wakeman, a former footballer for Gravesend and Northfleet FC also contracted MRSA and E coli during his stay at Darent Valley.

His father added: "My dad went into hospital after a fall and look what happened. I think the entire system is at fault, somebody has to take responsibility for the state of hygiene in our hospitals.

John Shepherd's wife, Jean, 66, of Knockhall Road, Greenhithe, also died after contracting the superbug at Darent Valley Hospital.

He said: "I can't believe the amount of money she is trying to get, it does seem very excessive.

"But although the blame must lie somewhere, we can't lay it entirely on her. I think she has been made a scapegoat for what happened at the trust, but we need to see what else went wrong.

Rose Gibb's spokesperson John Restell said: "We had hoped to avoid this step. Families and staff will be finding it painful to hear again about a legal wrangle over compensation.

"Unfortunately, the facts are that Rose Gibb was reluctant to quit her job last summer. The NHS told her she had no choice but to leave and so she accepted an offer of money to go. She was prepared to stay and face the music. It was her employer's decision to avoid any disciplinarily action against her.

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