5th Dec, 2016

Health trust starts search for new head

Evesham Editorial 27th Nov, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

UNDERFIRE Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) has advertised for a new chief executive.

The trust, which runs the Alexandra Hospital, Kidderminster Hospital and Worcestershire Royal has a projected loss of £58 million this financial year and hasn’t hit its four hour treatment target for Accident & Emergency for 12 consecutive months.

Currently under the leadership of interim postholder Chris Tidman, chairman Harry Turner describes the last 12 months – which have seen five A&E consultants resign, the closure of maternity at the Alex and the transfer of emergency gynaecology care to Worcester, not to mention its failute to come up with a viable plan for the future health care of residents in the county – as ‘particularly challenging’.

Mr Turner admits the rise in temporary postholders at boardroom level, two of whom resigned last month, had further damaged confidence.

The background to the job description catalogues the series of changes at the trust since 2010/11 and highlights the failure to hit targets across not just A&E but also 18 week referral treatment times and cancer referrals and the trust’s struggle to recruit permanent staff.

Indeed it hints that the trust is so low that “many would see the only way to be up.”

However, with a closing date of November 27 and a CQC report likely to be published in two weeks, many would-be applicants may be reluctant to step into the fire.