DELIGHTED health chiefs say they have appointed three A&E doctors to replace the four who resigned last March – and have plans to fill the fourth post.
The four who left, currently working their notices, had said they quit because they feared a proposed reconfiguration of the Emergency Department at the Alex would leave Redditch without a safe A&E department.
“All three consultants currently operate as practising ED consultant,” said a spokesperson for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
“Start dates are currently being finalised, but based on existing notice periods it is likely they will all join us at the beginning of August. In addition, we have secured an experienced agency consultant for the June- August months.”
In addition the Trust has confirmed the appointment of another locum doctor – Jules Walton – to the permanent position in Worcester last month to replace a consultant who left there.
Critical to the successful running the A&E department is its ability to act as a training department for doctors, leading the spokesperson to add: “Now that we have made appointments and have plans to fill the 4th post, we will be meeting with the West Midlands Deanery in order to provide assurance around our continued educational support for our junior doctors.”
Neal Stote, chairman of the save the Alex Campaign said: “The training is critical if you are going to have a viable department, otherwise you are going to need more and more doctors and locums, so we will have to wait and see if this actually works.
“I’m still incredibly concerned about patient safety at the Alex.”
The announcement is a rare piece of positive news for the Trust which has currently got health troubleshooters from the NHS Trust Development Authority is sending in staff looking at the situation there.