Consultation exercise comes under fire

Hospital chiefs have today come under fire for spending �130,000 on a consultation, which critics have branded unnecessary.

IPSWICH: Hospital chiefs have today come under fire for spending �130,000 on a consultation, which critics have branded unnecessary.

Medical sources at the Heath Road hospital said the results of the consultation by private firm, GE Healthcare, could have been gleaned from the staff themselves- had they been asked directly.

The consultation, which took place over 12 weeks and cost �137,000, was designed to devise more efficient ways of working in the future.

Health campaigner Prue Rush said it is important that the hospital use their own staff's abilities and not spend money in the wrong places.

She said: “We have got into such a culture now of 'let's have an investigation or consultation'. We have got to re-learn to just talk to the people concerned. They are the ones at the coalface, they know what the problems are and will have ideas about what needs to change.”

Andrew Reed, chief executive of the hospital, said the consultation was not a survey on staff feelings, but consisted of training workshops and reviewing services.

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He said: “This is not about a survey around how staff feel. It is a rigorous assessment of what the hospital is achieving now, what it needs to achieve in the future, and which areas we need to concentrate on. We have to be serious about the way we change to improve patient safety and quality of services.”

Do you think public sector organisations rely too much on consultants? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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