Hospital spends �137k on 'consultation'

IPSWICH Hospital has come under fire for spending �137,000 on a consultation which critics have branded unnecessary.

Naomi Gornall

IPSWICH Hospital has come under fire for spending �137,000 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 exercise, 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 was important that the hospital used 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.

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“There should be enough administrative people at the hospital who have the knowledge and ability to go to staff and ask them what they feel is wrong, without calling in a consultancy firm.

“It is disappointing they have had to go down that road when they ought to have someone in-house who could have directed that for them.”

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.

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.

“I am absolutely determined that we move the hospital on to delivering higher quality services and part of achieving this, is working with an external consultancy team who have lots of experience in this area. As well as undertaking the assessment, the external team led training workshops, reviewed services, and worked with senior clinicians and leaders to develop a more structured way of managing change.”

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