“HOW many red lines do they have to cross? At what point does someone say, this is simply not going to work?”
Neal Stote is speaking after the latest report from the Care Quality Commission on Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust which found ‘no tangible improvement’ since its last inspection in November 2016.
Their report found a catalogue of issues from an overcrowded Accident & Emergency at Worcestershire Royal, patients on trolleys in corridors, patients waiting up to 12 hours to move out of the department, lack of privacy, dignity, staff failing to regularly wash their hands and managers not dealing with known concerns.
“If the Food Standards Agency finds a rat in the kitchen you are closed down immediately, with a hospital you wait two years and then do nothing,” said the former chair of the Save the Alex campaign.
“How long can we wait for them to get it right?”
“You have got to give patients confidence that you or your loved ones can go to that hospital they will get it right.”
He is also scathing about the £29million of capital funding coming from central government for the reconfiguration of services.
“This money is for basic maintenance at the Alex. Both the endoscopy unit and the theatres being refurbished should have been part of the Trust’s 10 to 15 year plan anyway.
“And when it’s all done how are the people of Malvern going to feel travelling to Redditch for their operations?” he asked.
“I know they have a new management team in there and I wish them no ill, but when you have staff not doing the basics like washing their hands you have to wonder at the state of their moral.
“Are we really meant to wait until 2019 for all this to click into place?
“There is the capacity problem, the financial problem, the transport problem, the access problem.”
Mr Stote has long held the view that Redditch should be looking towards Birmingham, not Worcester, for support for its health care, a view endorsed by the borough council.
“He said: “This Trust has not been financially stable since it started and you have got to wonder how long it will be before someone at the Department of Health, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt or whoever steps in and says, enough is enough.”