AN NHS whistleblower has been brought in to scrutinise the performance of the Trust which runs the county’s hospitals.
Gary Walker has been asked by Save the Alex campaigners to give an independent management opinion on how bosses are running Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and in particular their handling of the situation at the Alexandra Hospital.
He is currently scrutinising performance and financial data as well as the hospital reconfiguration project before compiling a report which will be published once completed.
Neal Stote, chairman of the Save the Alex campaign, said they had requested Mr Walker’s help after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and rejected their concerns over the clinical performance of WAHT and its financial stability.
“The meeting with the Secretary of State for Health proved the NHS at the highest level is unwilling to take action on the word of a campaign group that believes Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is failing and that urgent action is required before patient care and key services suffer at not only the Alexandra Hospital but across the county and wider health economy.”
Mr Walker has been chief executive of some of the most troubled NHS organisations and between 2005 and 2010 was responsible for turning one organisation from a £36million annual deficit to a break even position and another from a £13million deficit into a £12million surplus, while cutting waiting times in half and improving patient safety.
He became one of the UK’s highest profile whistleblowers two years ago when he revealed how the health service had spent £500,000 trying to gag him over a range of patient safety concerns he raised while working as chief executive at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
After giving evidence to Parliament’s Health Select Committee it was found the NHS had been wrong to try and sue him for raising legitimate concerns. He now works independently offering organisations advice on how to turnaround their businesses.