Resignation call as candidate blocked from key IVF vote

CALLS have been made for a senior health official to resign while he campaigns as a Labour party candidate in Yorkshire.

Julian Smith MP

Mark Hayes has come under pressure to reconsider his work on the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group after it emerged the chief clinical officer could not cast a vote in favour of providing IVF treatment due to his political work.

Dr Hayes is the Labour candidate for Selby and Ainsty and has said publicly he wishes to end a situation in which his CCG is the only in the country not to offer IVF.

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But when a vote was called on the matter Dr Hayes was not allowed to have his say in order to avoid any conflict of interest with his campaigning role. The vote was lost five to four.

Questions are now being asked over how many other important health decisions will be made without the vote of the chief clinical officer.

The matter has been raised by Skipton and Ripon Julian Smith.

The Conservative MP said the best outcome would be for Dr Hayes to step down from the post until the 2015 General Election is completed.

Mr Smith said: “Patients have the right to ask whether Dr Hayes now has a serious conflict of interests.

“It would be appalling if his political ambitions were preventing couples from receiving IVF treatment that is available everywhere else and he has questions to answer.

“He should stand down from his key role at the CCG while he is a political candidate.”

In a statement the CCG said: “As a clinically led organisation, NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group’s chief clinical officer provides expert knowledge, guidance and leadership to the commissioning and service improvement teams.

“Dr Hayes has more than 30 years of experience in health care including working as local GP, through to the Chairman of Selby Primary Care group and a founder board member and chairman of York Health Group. His clinical leadership has enabled the CCG to develop plans for the next five years and he will continue to oversee the team.

“Openness and transparency remain key values of the CCG and any conflicts of interest are managed throughout its decision making processes and will soon be enhanced with the introduction of a deputy chief clinical officer.”