HEALTH Secretary Jeremy Hunt has admitted Worcestershire Royal was ‘the hospital he is most worried about of all’ following the recent reported deaths of two patients on trolleys in Accident & Emergency there and the discovery of a patient found hanged on one of its wards.
He was quoted by the BBC as saying: “What happened there was very serious because the hospital is in special measures, the chief executive has gone, and another from Australia is due to start, but that is a hospital but that is a hospital that has very very serious problems.”
Health campaigners in the county have long argued that Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust’s decision to concentrate critical A&E cases at Worcestershire Royal Hospital instead of also making full use of facilities at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch would place too much pressure on a department and hospital which was designed to serve the people of Worcester and not the entire county.
The trust has also centred coronary care, stroke care, maternity and overnight paediatric care at the Royal site, frequently citing patient safety as the over riding reason for the move.
The trust was placed in special measures by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in 2015 and following a follow-up inspection in November 2016 current trust board papers recognise that insufficient progress has been made in addressing the issues raised by the CQC.
The hospital was also the site of a recent risk summit involving the trust, local health commissioners and the county council following concerns over care.
Earlier today (Tuesday) Worcester MP Robin Walker and Redditch MP Karen Lumley met with Mr Hunt to discuss the county’s health care provision.
Last week Redditch-based campaign group Save the Alex, set up 11 years ago to fight to retain key hospital services in north Worcestershire an area serving a population of 200,000, gave up the battle in the face of the trust’s plans to centralise at Worcester.