CAMPAIGNERS are set to meet with the Health Secretary to discuss the situation at the Alexandra Hospital following the resignation of all four A&E consultants.
Redditch MP Karen Lumley and Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid have secured the meeting with Jeremy Hunt and senior officials from within the NHS and it is due to take place next week. The leaders of Redditch, Bromsgrove and Stratford councils will also attend as well as members of the Save the Alex campaign.
Mrs Lumley confirmed yesterday the situation had been discussed at government level and meetings continue take place among NHS officials at both local and national level.
“Sometimes you lose one member of staff but to lose every single A&E consultant is just not right. We were promised an A&E here at the Alex and we want to keep an A&E here at the Alex. I want to make sure we get the best we can for the people of Redditch,” she said.
Borough council leader Bill Hartnett has also written to the head of the Trust Development Authority to ask for University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) to be allowed to bid to run services at the Alex and for an investigation into claims of widespread bullying and the breakdown in the relationship with senior management, which is understood to be the reason behind the resignations.
“I have concerns about the viability of WAHT and the forthcoming departure of all emergency department consultants at the Alex and one consultant from the Worcestershire Royal, has strengthened that view.”
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said in a statement adverts for all of the positions will be placed this week but none of the five consultants leaving will do so before May.
“Services for patients at the Alexandra Hospital A&E department are therefore being provided as normal.
“We are working with partners locally and across the region on a solution to maintain A&E services at the Alex in the future. We are pleased to have already received offers of support from other Trusts.
“The future of acute hospital services in Worcestershire has been under review for more than three years. The commissioner-led review aims to ensure services across Worcestershire’s three acute hospital sites remain sustainable in the light of national shortages of medical staff in a number of key clinical specialties – A&E being one.
“The ongoing delays in moving forward have been a source of frustration for all parties and there was a recognised risk that staff could leave for other posts in the event of continued uncertainty. Our focus now is on the recruitment plan to replace them.”
But Mrs Lumley dismissed the idea uncertainty linked to the reconfiguration process was the motivation for the resignations.
“We know from the independent review there has got to be two A&Es in the county so there was no reason for them to leave for job security because that was there, so the people of Redditch need answers from the Trust as to why they have felt they have had to do this.”