Wyre Forest Labour is calling upon all of Worcestershire’s MP’s to seek an urgent meeting with the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to launch a proper Inquiry into what is going on inside Worcestershire NHS Trusts.
It is simply not enough that one MP, Worcester’s Robin Walker, is seeking to meet the Health Secretary to discuss the recent deaths at Worcestershire Royal Hospital when all of the other Tory MP’s remain silent on this crisis. They are putting votes before lives and have consistently underplayed the difficulties.
This is a crisis of the Tories making given our Tory MP’s have supported every measure the Government has introduced since 2010, without question, including the catastrophic top down pro-privatisation reorganisation that’s exacerbating this desperate situation.
The chronic Tory underfunding of the NHS, Worcestershire’s NHS debt (£26 million and counting for Acute NHS with a questionable surplus in the Health Trust), the Acute Trust’s farcical remodelling review; plus the inability of the Health Secretary and our MP’s to hold our NHS Trusts to account is now killing people and runs the potential for a Stafford Hospital type scenario on our own doorstep.
What are they doing to solve this crisis? Are they calling for more NHS funding? More doctors and nurses? A top down clear out of clearly incompetent management? Just what is their plan? They need to do all of this and more to restore people’s confidence in our local NHS.
Over the last year or so we’ve seen wards closed in our local hospitals, centralisation of important children’s, maternity, and A&E services, loss of mental health services, whistleblowers hounded out (Ken Hall), unreported x-rays putting patients at risk, serious bullying claims, and the latest deaths allied to an inability to cope with demand and temporary shutting of local Kidderminster and Redditch services to bring staff cover into Worcester. All whilst NHS management may attempt to persuade us that everything is under control but a quick read of the latest CQC report reveals otherwise, yet nothing changes. Why?
What they are presenting to us by doing all of this is unfortunately the REAL picture once they have implemented their current (centralising) remodelling of Acute services. A remodelling using a consultation exercise that is meaningless to most of us in our communities because it is a cost saving plan that is only likely to lead to more problems. The recent demise of ‘Save The Alex’ demonstrates the level of frustration of our community activists in trying to save our NHS for local people in the face of intransigent NHS management and its political masters. Kidderminster suffered similar frustration many years ago but it seems the lessons have not been learned either by the NHS or elected politicians.
NHS managers are clearly prepared to go to any lengths, including unlawful employment practices, to cover up the extent of this crisis, and the following information is probably only the tip of the iceberg. Sources inside the Acute Trust who wish to remain anonymous for fear of management reprisal, told Wyre Forest Labour:
“ED nurses have been instructed that they are not allowed to have proper breaks, and those working in triage or minors have been told that they are to eat their dinner and have their drinks “on the go” whilst they are in their rooms working. They are not to go and have their breaks in the staff room. They do 12 hour shifts”.
Given the 3 deaths in Worcester, expecting nurses to work without breaks will lead to more mistakes, maybe even deaths, and personal and professional consequences for nurses too (they’ll get the blame for errors before the true culprits – managers and the Govt). Only recently in Ayr, and not the first case either, a nurse crashed her car because she was so tired after working a shift where she had no breaks. Is this what our Trust bosses want by working their staff to death?
The time has come for a full inquiry into Worcestershire NHS Trusts.
Wyre Forest Labour Party