Hospital is 'a catastrophe in the making' Bridlington!

ANGRY campaigners today blasted top health officials for quitting while Bridlington Hospital is in crisis.

Three officials from Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare Trust, which runs the troubled hospital, have resigned.

The trust wants to close the maternity department, cardiac monitoring unit and acute medical ward at the Bessingby Road hospital.

It was also recently criticised for spending more than £350,000 on new finance staff.

Despite facing a £20.7m debt, it advertised a number of jobs that it said would improve the finance department.

As first reported on the Mail's website, trust chief executive Iain McInnes revealed he was quitting in an e-mail to staff on Wednesday.

He is leaving to take-up another job in the NHS.

The Mail has also had confirmation that finance director Sandy Hogg, and non-executive director chairman of the trust audit committee, Jason Brian, have resigned.

Today, Save Bridlington Hospital Action Group chairman, Mick Pilling told the Mail: “This is totally the wrong time for top officials to be quitting when our hospital is in such a state.

“Health Secretary Alan Johnson has ordered an independent review into the latest proposed cutbacks, and they should have at least waited until that panel reported back.

“I'm afraid they are like rats fleeing a sinking ship. Bridlington Hospital is in serious crisis, but they obviously don't care about that.”

Union leaders have also voiced their concerns.

Unison regional officer Ray Gray said he was “extremely concerned” three of the trust's top board members had tendered their resignation simultaneously.

“This would seem to indicate there are still serious issues within the trust that need to be dealt with,” he said.

“It does also bring into question the role of the chairman, Sir Michael Carlisle, who for the time being is still in the post, but he does have to take some responsibility for the current position in which the trust now finds itself.”

Steve Holliday Unite representative for Bridlington Hospital has written to the independent review panel about the matter.

He said: “We are very concerned this is a catastrophe in the making because the junior doctors are going to be withdrawn from the hospital in August.

“In order to protect patients in the Bridlington area, we need someone to step in and protect the junior doctor cover at the hospital with extreme urgency if we are to maintain safety for the patients in the area.”

A Department of Health spokesman said the independent reconfiguration panel was expected to report on the future of the maternity unit by the end of this month.

Panel reports on the cardiac monitoring unit and acute medical services were likely to be published later in the year.

Mr McInnes is expected to remain in post until a new appointment is made.

Mick Pilling outside Bridlington Hospital