Scandal of FOURTH Inquiry into Southport Hospital managers
A senior local councillor has hit out at national NHS bosses for allowing Southport hospital to limp on while suffering a FOURTH set of Inquiries into three senior staff members.
It has been announced today by the Southport & Formby NHS Trust that one of the four suspended senior hospital managers is being allowed to come back to work. Another has retired while under suspension. But two of those who have been suspended for over a year will now face a ‘Disciplinary Inquiry’.
Southport’s Lib Dem Health spokesperson Councillor Tony Dawson said:
“After twelve whole months of the public paying more than twice the going rate for four top hospital managers – without having them work a single day for us in all that time – we are now being promised yet another Inquiry’ while the Chairman who promises us this is just about to disappear herself!”
“Rightly or wrongly, an ‘Inquiry’ is what a hundred thousand people in Southport, Ormskirk and Formby thought we were already having. In fact, we thought there had been three Inquiries, all paid for at great expense out of public funds. Now we are promised another Inquiry and, who knows, if we are lucky, a potential set of court cases after that.”
“Not knowing or particularly wanting to know the details of the ‘charges’ against these managers, does not stop me from speculating upon the punishment which the staff members concerned – and the NHS hospital services serving Southport have already suffered during the past 12 months.”
“I am sure the people of Southport will have all sorts of ideas, not all of them printable, as to the proper punishment due to the people who have been supervising this never-ending series of Inquiries. These people have let Southport Hospital drift in a shark-filled sea without any consistency at the helm.”
Councillor Dawson has made a Freedom of Information Request to the hospital for the total cost of these ‘Inquiries’ as well as the full cost of all the extra managers brought in to cover for the suspended staff.
“There is another big question which has not been answered,” he says.
“We have already been told that the subject of the allegations against these managers was not anything to do with patient care. So who decided that these managers really needed to be suspended – sat, worrying, in deckchairs in their gardens – for a full year instead of working to keep NHS quality services in Southport and sorting out our A&E problems?”
Councillor Dawson is worried that Southport Hospitals may lose out seriously in the present round of NHS Transformation and Sustainability Reviews being conducted over the summer which are to determine which services are provided in future at which hospitals – and which services will be cut.
“The absence of continuity with committed leadership at the top at a critical time may seriously-penalise Southport because we have not had our voice at the table. Sadly, we have no say because for decades now there has been no local accountability in the NHS.”
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