Groundswell of opposition among staff against merger plans at Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Hinchingbrooke Hospital,

Hinchingbrooke Hospital, - Credit: Archant

A groundswell of opposition is building among staff at Hinchingbrooke Hospital who are unhappy about plans for a merger with Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Doctors, nurses and other clinical staff, as well as those in administrative and support roles, are being urged to attend the hospital’s board meeting on Monday morning to challenge the decision for a full merger between the two hospitals.

Staff are also being encouraged to wear pink to the board meeting, which starts at 11am, and are discussing possible plans for a “vote of no confidence” in the board or even a judicial review.

Hinchingbrooke announced on Wednesday (May 18) that “following extensive engagement” with clinical and non-clinical teams it had rigorously tested all four of its proposed options, but the boards of both hospitals were recommending merging the two trusts on April 1, 2017.

If approved, a full business case will be published in September, but the hospital has said it is committed to engaging with staff and public.

A senior doctor, who asked not to be named by The Hunts Post said: “The first step will be to show that, as clinicians concerned about the threat to safe patient care, we are united in our opposition to the merger.

“I am not a politician or a lawyer, but I know that if we do nothing, the merger will proceed without scrutiny.”

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Staff are being urged to attend the board meeting and wear pink as a show of solidarity.

The doctor has told staff: “Even if you have an operating list, clinic or other activity, make sure your patients are safe and come along. I am sure your patients would prefer to have a hospital to attend for their follow-up, over being a few minutes late. We do not have time or money for banners or badges. Could I request a very simple sign of our solidarity, wear pink.”

Huntingdon MP, Jonathan Djanogly has already said that he has “great concerns” about a full merger.

He told The Hunts Post after Wednesday’s announcement that he would be attending Monday’s meeting.

“I note the recommendations that will be going to next week’s board meeting, but my position remains that a full merger between the two hospital trusts is of great concern to local residents. I will be attending Monday’s board meeting at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. I will also be submitting a copy of my petition to the chairman of the board, which to date, has 6,000 signatures opposing a merger.”

Hinchingbrooke Hospital’s NHS Trust board said it did not want to comment further.