Junior Hospital Doctors- Dispute Is Serious For Hospital!

I attended the Royal Hospital Trust Board Meeting at New Cross Hospital today the 30th November 2015.

Junior Hospital Doctors Dispute. The Chief Executive David Laughton reported to the RWT Hospital Board that the Junior Doctors are to initiate three days of industrial action in December. They are currently involved in a round of mediation, there had been no information at all about the outcome of today’s mediation. But if there was news during the Board meeting he said he would inform the members. He went onto inform however the Hospital Trust has initiated a deadline of 3.00pm today, for the dispute to be settled, and if no decision is known then there will be a management decision made that will lead to the hospital starting to cancel patients appointments immediately. Mr Laughton warned that instigating this action could lead to up to 3 months of delay being experienced by patients who had their appointments and treatment cancelled. The CEO made the issue clear by saying that the RWT had left the decision right to the last moment in the hope that the Junior Doctors dispute would be settled. Clearly there will be a lot of patients watching that clock and the News today for information about the dispute.

Meeting the City’s Three MP’s.The CEO Mr Laughton, also informed the board that he had met the City’s three MP’s asking them to lobby around immigration rules as there was concerns about the new staff being recruited from abroad. There were some financial risk that the RWT would face with regard to the recruitment, he also spoke about the problems of the logistics in bringing some 200 + people into Wolverhampton from abroad, to work in the hospital.

RWT Financial Issues – The CEO then turned to financial issues. Wolverhampton CCG had a £10m surplus in their accounts, but is being asked to help Staffordshire with these resources, whose financial position is much worse, than neighboring areas. Mr Laughton said that there was very real concern that money held by the CCG for services for Wolverhampton families and individuals here in the City, may be lost if the CCG follows through this policy decision.

I must admit to feeling very concerned about this information….maybe I am wrong?

But I would have thought that resources which were amassed by Wolverhampton CCG, should be spent on services for Wolverhampton’s own population. We are not a rich City, and medical services across the whole area delivered by the CCG should be the major issue. I shall be asking the City Council if they have a view on this…..I am sure many of you reading this will feel like I do? Perhaps you will tell me. The RWT Board was informed that the Staffordshire funding for Stafford hospital was also running out and there was an £80 million deficit to look at! There was no plan in place to fill that Black Hole, and there was little action taking place to address it! This just cannot be right…..

Strikes me that Wolverhampton City Council must make a statement and help to protect the Health Service provision in this City, and address any situation that robs Wolverhampton people of resources that they should be receiving, and help to protect the hospital from unwanted costs which will weigh down our local hospital, with debts accrued in Stafford by Staffordshire management. This is a big issue. Make no mistake about that!

Finance report RWT is in a deficit of £5.141m which is adverse by £228k to the RWT financial plan.


Recruitment – Still on recruitment the RWT Board report informs that 1,239 jobs have been advertised via NHS Jobs, over the last 12 months. As at the end of October there were 145 qualified nursing vacancies at the RWT.

A Report about Safe Staffing, indicated that there has been a significant deterioration of the number of Wards falling below the 80% fill requirement. Recruitment to RWT remains what they describe as challenging.  The RWT has recently been looking for nurses in Italy and Portugal where they were recruiting a further cohort of Qualified Nurses, as well as the current Phillipines action. It’s was being reported to the Board that integrated quality and performance report informs that the Trust received 42 patient complaints during October in comparison to 35 received at the same time in the previous year. There were 6 complaints which breached the 35 day timescale without consent. The CEO made the point that with a brand new spanking A and E the New Cross hospital enters into winter with no additional staff capacity, there was no way that additional staff can be accommodated. He said that there was a ‘padlock’ on additional staff for A&E.  The Royal Hospital Trust Board has just had an update on the Nursing Workforce Skill Mix Review. This update informed the board that the team looking for Nursing Staff in the Philippines had identified 179 individuals who had passed an initial interview, there was still a process to go through, but the nursing team out there were actively engaged.

New Cross Hospital

New Cross Hospital part of the RWT

New Accident & Emergency Unit– The CEO reported proudly that the new Accident and Emergency department at New Cross opened last Wednesday at 4.00am. The staff played their part and the transfer went very well, the quality of the department is for everyone to see. The CEO thanked everyone involved in the development , the planning and the services for their part in constructing and then delivering the logistics that led to the new department opening effectively and without problem.

Major Incident Plan– The debate that the Chairman was expecting around the Major Incident Plan got put back, due to the authors not being present. It was approved and agreed that it would be brought back.



Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more


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