Staff morale in the Midlands – Its rock bottom, commonplace and near you

Staff morale is very low, bullying is endemic and its all commonplace and happens near to where you live. Only open and public domain exit interviews with all the parties concerned would be enough. I invite all and any of them to have a digital audio interview for NHSreality. (Worcestershire hospitals anti-bullying policy ‘not fit for purpose’ (BBC News 27th August 2015). Related entries in NHSreality include: An epidemic of nationwide bullying. In most dictatorships this precedes dissolution or breakdown…. and Bullying, intimidation and reprisals. A gagged staff culture in the Health \services across the UK. and Demand for full truth on NHS ‘bullying’ – the culture of fear

BBC news reported 11th March 2015: Alexandra Hospital consultants’ resignation reasons revealed

Four accident and emergency consultants who resigned en masse said planned changes at their hospital meant it would have “neither an A&E service nor a safe service”, it has emerged.

They quit their jobs at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch on 13 February.

However, their resignation letter has only now been published following a Freedom of Information request to the trust that runs the hospital.

It said it had published the letter to rebut suggestions they had been gagged.

A fifth A&E consultant working at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital resigned at the same time.

In a statement, the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said it had “not prevented its four A&E consultants from publishing a letter outlining their reasons for leaving”, adding that it had “always been happy for them to put it in the domain”.

The trust also published a response from what it described as “five of its most senior clinicians”.

The trust published the two letters on the same day it emerged that a review into bullying at Worcestershire hospitals will be carried out by the independent body the Good Governance Institute.

It will examine how complaints about bullying are handled and the trust’s policies on whistle-blowing.

In their resignation letter, the four consultants claim successive management decisions have “undermined services”.

The consultants described themselves as “battle-weary and exhausted by the continuous pressure that we have been under”.

“The situation has taken a heavy toll on our personal and family lives; the stress has been unbearable at times,” they said.

They said they resigned because they could no longer see a way forward to secure safe and sustainable A&E services at the Alexandra Hospital “especially whilst the current senior management and senior clinical leadership remains in place”.

The future size and shape of the Alexandra Hospital has been uncertain for several years.

All four consultants have accepted jobs at Warwick Hospital because it is “a trust who are investing in their services and value their staff”.

In the response letter published on the trust’s website on Wednesday, the five senior clinicians said they were “disappointed” their former colleagues had not acknowledged “the serious challenges to NHS services in this area”.

They said that the plan to keep “a networked A&E department” at the Alexandra Hospital, linked to the A&E department in Worcester, was based upon recommendations made in a report by Sir Bruce Keogh on the future of emergency services.

“[The consultants who resigned] are, of course, entitled to express their views but it would be wrong to suggest these views are shared by all of our clinicians at the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust – they are not,” the letter said.

The trust said it was in discussions with a number of potential partners to replace the four consultants.

A&E consultants who wrote the letter

  • Richard Morrell
  • Sarah Crawford
  • Christopher Hetherington
  • David Gemmell

Five divisional medical directors who replied

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This entry was posted in A Personal View, Consultants, Gagging, NHS managers, Stories in the Media, Trust Board Directors on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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