THE Alexandra Hospital has been hit by the resignations of two more top consultants.
News of the departure of Dr Karen Tait and Dr Athiveer Prabu from the Woodrow Drive hospital is a further blow to Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust which has been hit by a series of top level staff leaving over the past 15 months.
It is believed the two doctors have joined former Alex colleagues at Warwick Hospital.
Dr Tait was the clinical lead for Worcestershire for diabetes, one of the fastest growing conditions in the country, while Dr Prabu is a consultant rheumatologist and a nationally recognised expert in Mixed Connective Tissue Diseases.
It is understood that their departures may be connected with the Trust’s plan for the future of acute health care in Worcestershire which has in the last 12 months seen emergency gynaecology, maternity, trauma surgery and just last week in-patient childrens care go to Worcester from September.
The West Midlands Clinical Senate (WMCS) recently approved this plan but with a number of conditions, including staff rotating between Worcester and Redditch, something staff at Worcester have been reluctant to do, and each A&E department having at least 10 consultant each. Currently the trust is understood to have just 12.
Dr Jonathan Wells, chair of Redditch & Bromsgrove GP Advisory Forum, said: “I am shocked and disappointed to learn of the resignations of Dr Karen Tait and Dr Athiveer Prabu.
“Their departure will be another significant loss to Worcestershire.
“Dr Tait takes part in the acute medicine rota at the Alex, and her resignation, following that of Dr Aldulaimi, means that there will only be six remaining permanent consultants for this service from September.
“It is vital that urgent steps are taken to review and stabilise the acute medicine service at the Alex in light of the comments within the WMCS report and this further resignation by a key member of the service.
Neal Stote, chairman of Save the Alex said: “This is very bad news and means that acute medicine at the Alex is now at risk.”
Referring to a leaked minute in which interim chief executive Chris Tidman was recorded as recognising that the provision of acute medicine on two sites (Worcester and Redditch) was unsustainable, Mr Stote added: “It looks like Tidman’s leak of moving towards an ambulatory care system at the Alex is coming closer.
“The clinicians are voting with their feet and it’s all very well the Trust saying it will be sorted when it’s implemented but by then it will be too late.
“The problem is the management have let the Trust get into such a mess now. Doctors at Worcester don’t want to rotate to Redditch and it’s obvious the staff do not believe in this new model.
“After five years of faffing around the Trust is in the worst possible state when the obvious solution has been up the road in Birmingham all along.”
A spokesperson for the Trust said: “We are naturally disappointed when staff of any grade or position decide to leave us, however as an employer of over 5,000 people we have to accept that on occasions people will seek job opportunities elsewhere.
“To put the resignations into context over recent months we have recruited 15 new consultants, some who have already started working with us and others will be joining us in the coming months.”