Fallout over hospital secretary changes

MORE evidence of declining morale and serious teething problems stemming from Ipswich Hospital's administration reshuffle emerged today.The strength of feeling in the furore over the reshuffle and loss of medical secretaries is such that one member of the hospital's clinical staff said morale was at its lowest point in a decade.

MORE evidence of declining morale and serious teething problems stemming from Ipswich Hospital's administration reshuffle emerged today.

The strength of feeling in the furore over the reshuffle and loss of medical secretaries is such that one member of the hospital's clinical staff said morale was at its lowest point in a decade.

Patients have also claimed that the changes have resulted in key medical documents being lost.

The latest news follows reports of a failing computer system and a backlog of post which followed the reorganisation of secretarial staff.

One patient, who asked to remain anonymous, said she faced an hour-long wait for her appointment after her referral letter was lost.

She said: “Much is exaggerated, but I think there are a lot of problems and it is due to morale.

Most Read

“I used to work in the NHS organising clinics. It used to be your pride and joy to make sure the clinic was running properly.

“I have no problem with my treatment, it's the administration that's so abysmal.”

Another patient said she was told her notes had been lost but were then found days later.

A member of the hospital's clinical staff said: “There are problems with getting hold of notes and problems with there sometimes being no notes at all.

“Those secretaries were effectively personal assistants to the consultants. They knew all the patients and whether they needed to see the consultant immediately or not. Now those valued judgements are gone.

“There hasn't been consultation on the changes and the scale of those changes has been enormous.

“It's not been a happy time. I have worked here on and off for ten years and morale is the lowest I have ever seen it.”

Hospital spokeswoman Jan Rowsell said: “We always anticipated initial teething problems in the implementation process.

“Those problems are being addressed and everything possible is being done to make sure there is minimal impact on patients.

“We do appreciate it's been a tough year for all staff and changing the way in which the administration system runs is an additional challenge for people to come to terms with.”

Have you been affected by the changes at Ipswich Hospital? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter