AN INDEPENDENT investigation into bullying within the county’s hospitals is being launched.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has commissioned the inquiry along with the Trust Development Authority.
It follows allegations of widespread bullying within the Alexandra Hospital by former A&E nurse Mandy Bridgman, reported in the Standard.
Claims included staff being reduced to tears after being shouted at in front of patients and in corridors, harassed to meet the four hour A&E waiting time target and nurses being threatened to have their registration to work removed.
David Flory, head of the TDA, will personally sign off the terms of reference for the investigation to ensure it is independent.
The announcement comes following a meeting with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Mr Flory today (Monday) attended by Save The Alex campaigners, the leaders of Redditch, Bromsgrove and Stratford councils and the three MPs for those areas.
Campaigners expressed their concerns over the clinical and financial stability of the Trust and it was admitted there were challenges and performance needed to be improved, but further action will not be taken until the outcome of a review into the proposed reconfiguration of the county’s hospital services, due to be reported back to health bosses on Friday (February 27).
In the short term, measures are being taken to ensure the Alex’s A&E department is sustained following the resignation of all four emergency consultants two weeks ago. This includes the potential to borrow staff from other Trusts and the use of locums.
Neal Stote, Save The Alex chair, said: “We are very disappointed, we believe there are deep clinical and financial issues with the Trust which need to be addressed urgently.
“We are not convinced that will be done by the actions emerging from today’s meeting. However, we welcome the investigation into accusations of bullying and hope it will be truly independent.”
Redditch MP Karen Lumley said she was assured in the short term steps would be taken to stabilise the Alex A&E department and following the outcome of the Clinical Senate review she would expect Mr Flory to act appropriately on it.
For more reaction, see Friday’s Standard.