Letter Released After Worcestershire Surgeons Quit

Four top doctors leaving their posts at an Accident and Emergency department in Worcestershire say management decisions have led to "failing and unsustainable services" at a hospital.

A letter the group wrote outlining the reasons why has been made public after a Freedom of Information request to the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. 

It appears the reasons are behind a review that could see A and E services being moved from the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

The group said: "successive management decisions have undermined services at the Alexandra Hospital; these in turn have led to the self-fulfilling prophecy of failing and unsustainable services." 

They also blamed failing services on an inability to recruit enough staff to meet demand and claim many debates around moving services from Redditch to Worcester were heavily weighted "on the Worcester side of the argument," meaning they were not listened to. 

An independent report commissioned by campaigners has found there needs to be another look at whether emergency care, paediatrics and maternity units are moved. 

The Save The Alex ordered report has recommended that the Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust is broken up and Redditch's Alexandra Hospital is run by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. 

Neal Stote from Save The Alex said: "The board in Worcestershire really needs to relook at what they are planning. People need good, safe local services. The government needs to work with local NHS providers to make sure that happens and every angle and option needs to be looked at. 

"Many people will just start using services in Birmingham anyway if the Alex is downgraded. Therefore, it seems obvious that there should be a look into this as a decision to move services to Worcester will impact on hospitals in the city." 

The board at Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust told Heart: "We are making strenuous efforts to ensure they are replaced and we are doing everything we can to ensure we maintain a continuous, high quality service for local patients. 

"We have received offers of support from a number of individual A&E consultants and from neighbouring Trusts and we are now in discussions with various people as we seek to ensure continuity of service.

"Meanwhile the NHS Trust Development Authority has confirmed they have commissioned the Good Governance Institute to lead an independent review to investigate allegations around bullying and harassment at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust."

The review will look at the handling of the concerns raised and the application of trust policies on whistleblowing and raising concerns, dignity at work and grievances with a focus on best practice for investigations. We welcome the appointment of the Good Governance Institute and look forward to working with them.

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