THE chairman of the Royal Bolton Hospital’s board, Cllr Cliff Morris, will leave this autumn.

Other senior members of the under-fire board of governance are also facing a shake-up.

Three non-executive members, including Cllr Morris, who is also leader of Bolton Council , will leave the board and a new chief operating officer and three new nonexecutive members, including a new chairman, will be appointed.

Cllr Morris has insisted it has nothing to do with the issues at the hospital and he is going merely because his time is up.

The changes come after the board was heavily criticised in April by health watchdog Monitor when it put the hospital under “red” risk for missing targets. Monitor said the board had “failed to address identified risks”

and “more robust action”

was needed.

A spokesperson said: “Monitor required the trust to commission a Board governance review from which they will develop a plan to resolve outstanding issues.

“We will continue to meet with the trust on a monthly basis until all issues are resolved.” The Royal Bolton Hospital confirmed a review of the board had taken place but insisted the changes were not linked to the review.

The spokesperson said: “A Board governance review does not automatically result in changes to the membership of the board.”

The three non-executive board members are leaving because they have each served two terms of four years, which is the maximum. Cllr Morris will leave in October and Arthur Rawlinson, who is also chairman of the Hospital’s Charitable Trust Fund and a member of the Audit, Finance, IT and Clinical Governance Committees, and Margaret Blenkinsop, former director of Children’s Services at Bolton Council , will leave next year.

All three posts will be advertised.

Non-executive members earn £10,000 to £15,000 per year and the chairman, who is expected to work between two-and-a-half to three days per week, earns between £40,000 and £45,000.

A new chief operating officer will also be advertised after Andrew Colgan’s departure earlier this year. The salary is thought to be over £100,000 per year.

The board has 10 members, five of them executive including the chief executive Lesley Doherty who earns between £125,000 and £130,000 per year, and five non-executive members including the chairman.

Cllr Morris said: “We have had board governance reviews, it is about looking at our board and seeing if we have got the right mix in skills. I am stepping down because I have had two terms.

“It is the right thing to happen, I have been here eight years and that is a long time.”