HOSPITAL bosses have refused to discuss the reasons behind the resignation of five of its A&E consultants, including the whole team from the Alexandra Hospital’s emergency department.
Harry Turner, chairman of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, was challenged by the public to detail why the group had quit their jobs to take up new roles at Warwick Hospital at a board meeting on Wednesday (February 25).
It is believed the group had decided to leave after a breakdown in their relationship with senior management.
But Mr Turner refused to comment on the reports. He said: “We are talking to the consultants right now to understand their reasons for leaving.
“It’s a matter between us and the consultants at the moment.”
More than 20 campaigners attended the meeting and held up signs during it bearing the slogan ‘I have no confidence in Worcester Acute Hospital Management’ in protest at the board’s handling of the situation.
Mark Wake, Trust medical director, outlined a number of actions they were taking to secure the future of A&E at the Alex in the short-term including using locums to replace the outgoing consultants on a temporary basis initially, while adverts were placed for full-time staff.
He added they had also approached all major trusts in the surrounding area to see what support they could offer. But he admitted with a national shortage of emergency consultants it would be a major challenge to replace them.
“We hope to be in a position to shore up the service in the short-term with locums and then move to a more substantive workforce but it is going to be a significant challenge for us, but we are determined to put all of our efforts into this.”
Chief executive Penny Venables added the departing consultants had committed to work their notice, with some not expected to leave until July, which would help.
“We are absolutely committed to working in collaboration with other trusts and seeing where we can get support.”