A LEADING local MP has hit out at the standard of leadership at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT).
Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford, whose constituency includes Alcester and Studley, which are served by the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, spoke out after hearing three senior consultants had resigned from the Trust in April.
The latest to go is Dr James Young, a consultant physician in acute medicine, diabetes and endocrinology who follows Dr David Aldulaimi and Dr Martin Fotherby.
“I remember going there once with Karen Lumley (MP for Redditch) with the then Minister to talk with management and they bizarrely asked me and Mrs Lumley to leave the room because they said they wanted a meeting with the Minister in private,” said Mr Zahawi.
“To my mind it’s always a red or amber warning that you do not have good leadership of an organisation if they do not have the confidence to fully state their position.
“Word gets around and doctors are not immune to this and the result is this pretty miserable situation.
“This is why you need really strong leadership, which we currently do not have, however you’d be amazed at just how quickly a good leader can turn things around.”
The Trust, which includes the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, was rated as ‘Needing Improvement’ by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission and was placed into special measures.
Its chairman Harry Turner resigned earlier this year and the Trust is currently looking at a one year of £55 million. Most of its board are interim appointees.
WAHT is currently proposing to reconfigure its health provision for Worcestershire, putting greater emphasis on Worcestershire Royal for emergency admissions while insisting that the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch would still see ’95 per cent’ of its current A&E patients.
“Myself and the other local MPs, including Karen Lumley, are planning to sit down with the Secretary of State to discuss the issues at the Alex and with the Trust as this has been going on for a very long time, which is why we asked for it to be placed in special measures,” said Mr Zahawi.
A spokesperson for WAHT said: “In the last year we have recruited 41 consultants, 16 Specialty doctors and nine Clinical Fellows, which equates to 66 senior doctors to cover both sites and more recently Jan Stevens has joined us as Chief Nurse, whilst this is on an interim basis, it shows that we are able to attract high calibre, experienced people to our team.
“It is clear that uncertainty around the future of hospital services in Worcestershire has had an impact on staff morale, the final proposal agreed by our clinicians, is currently with the clinical senate and will enable us to move forward with confidence, with a clear message to patients and staff that 95 per cent what is currently delivered at the Alexandra Hospital will remain at the Alex.
“The fact that we are now delivering the majority of our elective orthopaedic work and plan to move other elective surgery to the Alexandra shows that all of our hospitals have a bright future.”
“Ending this uncertainty, will be key to our ability to attract and then keep good people who want to make a difference.”