HEALTH chiefs anxious to fill the vacant A&E consultant posts at the Alex are using one of the very doctors who has resigned due to safety concerns at the department as a point of contact for would-be applicants.
Chris Hetherington, the clinical lead at the department, is one of the four consultants who has resigned to go to Warwick Hospital instead.
The four Accident and Emergency experts who handed in their notices last month said their concerns were ignored by health bosses and that they feared for the future of comprehensive services at the Alex.
The advert calling for their replacements says Worcester Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is ‘seeking inspirational specialists who are passionate about transforming services’ to join the hospital’s ‘dynamic emergency medicine teams’.
It goes on to state that the A&E department at the Alex deals with approximately 50,000 patient attendances per year and describes the hospital as a recognised ‘Trauma Unit’.
The consultants who resigned fear that, under proposals put forward by the Trust – modified option one – this status could be lost and the department reduced to a minor injuries unit offering limited emergency care.
A spokesman for the Trust said: Chris Hetherington is still clinical lead for the Alex site so it would be standard practice to have his contact details in the advert as one of the initial points of contact.”
A meeting of the Trust board on Wednesday heard that there had been interest shown for temporary locum doctors to fill the vacancies while the closing date for the permanent jobs closed yesterday, March 26.