THE chairman of Colchester’s hospital trust has refused to give the media any interviews despite the scandal breaking four days ago.

Sally Irvine has still not confirmed when she will speak in public.

Mrs Irvine’s prolonged silence has been criticised by Karen Webb, regional director of the Royal College of Nursing and Colchester's MP Sir Bob Russell.

Ms Webb said: “It is a despicable act for the senior leaders of an organisation to try to pass the buck on to more junior managers and refuse to account fully for their part in decision making.

“The buck stops with the leader of the trust. It is on their watch and the chairman is declining to comment. "

Mrs Irvine was appointed trust chairman in August 2010 and reappointed to the role in August this year. She earns £35-40,000 a year for her part-time role, which is due to expire on July 31, 2016.

Among her roles, Mrs Irvine chairs the hospital’s board of directors, council of governors, and nominations committee.

The next board of directors meeting at Colchester General Hospital is on December 12.

Sir Bob Russell said: “With such a long time before the next meeting of the hospital board, I feel it is crucial, in the interests of upholding the public’s confidence in the cancer treatment services at Colchester Hospitals and to lift the morale of hospital staff, that those at the head of the trust do not stay behind closed doors. Silence is not helpful.”