Hunt made his claim, and soon afterwards, several of those CEOs let it be known that they did not support contract imposition. By this evening, nine of the 20 had so claimed. Then an intervention on Twitter by Andrew Foster, who is CEO of the Wrightlington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust, shone a bright light upon why there had been so many dissenters: someone had changed the text to which he had signed up.
The ball was set rolling by Emma Preston, who asked two direct and straightforward questions of the 20 CEOs: “Two basic q.s to all CEOs: 1)Did you support Dalton's offer? 2)Do you support the imposition? Surely no grey areas for them there”. Sanjay Sastry, a Welshman working abroad in Greater Manchester, tagged Foster and simply asked him “Your answer please?” It was the reply that set tongues wagging.
Foster simply said “1) Yes 2) No Clear enough?” But the letter published on behalf of Hunt at least implied that the CEOs supported contract imposition. Sastry had another go: “Yes, thank you. Although raises serious questions re judgement. Were u naive to sign or r u changing your mind after event?” to which Foster replied unequivocally “The letter we supported was a different one to that published today”.
Clive Peedell put his own question to Foster: “Dear @andrewkfoster, If there's an exodus of junior docs resulting from contract imposition, will you consider resigning for supporting it?” Foster once again pointed out to him “I have not supported contract imposition. I have supported the view that the offer made is reasonable”.
Back to Clive Peedell: “This is what you supported in Dalton's letter. The implications are obvious. Hunt took his advice”. He appended the paragraph in question. Foster’s reply was, once again, unequivocal: “That is not the paragraph that I agreed to. I did not agree with imposition”. What is needed now, then, is for the wording to which Foster and the other 19 CEO signed up. And if it is different, there can be only one conclusion.
Should there be any significant difference in the wording, and if Foster is right in his (repeated) assertion that he did not support imposition - that there are at least another eight CEOs making the same claims suggests he is not alone - then either Hunt, or someone under his control, has changed the wording. That is not merely unforgivable: it is a resigning offence. And if Hunt is found to be bang to rights, and declines to do the right thing, then Young Dave should step in and sack the SOB.