Reporters: M Beed, G Suntharalingam, P Brindley
As results came in, it became clear that asking hospital staff for their opinion had backfired. Ms May, from the orthopaedic wing of the party, has been accused of fighting a lacklustre campaign, and there are calls for her to resign as Chief Surgeon. Ms May has taken responsibility and has sought support from eight little-known staff Anaesthetists. With their help, Ms May stays in power for now, although this involves supporting the Anaesthetist’s demands to maintain a separate break room.
During the campaign, Ms May was criticized for her decision not to attend the Hospital Hustings, with commentators mocking her excuse that it was “impossible to reschedule her private list at such short notice”. She was also criticized for her commitment to stop surgeons performing hip replacements on patients who could walk into hospital, and for her focus on acquiring new operating suites in order to provide “strong table leadership”.
her mantra that “Bugger off means bugger off” was unconvincing
The vote was called to strengthen Ms May’s hand in the upcoming negotiations with the other 27 Trust hospitals. This began when the now retired surgeon, Mr Cameron, decided a vote was needed on whether to remove the Greater Brollington (known as “the Brolly”) from the Eastern United (EU) Trust, headed by Dr Junker. Interestingly, Ms May had initially opposed this move, and therefore her mantra that “Bugger off means bugger off” was unconvincing. Her further argument that she would rather have no deal than a bad deal did little to reassure staff who fear it will be harder to obtain clinical excellence awards from the Trust, or trade equipment with other hospitals.
In contrast, the Acute Physician, Dr Corbyn, oversaw a radical campaign that grew in popularity. Supporters liked his promise to renationalise the hospital canteen, whilst his slogan “for the clinicians, not the patients” captured the spirit of staff members tired of cut-backs. Importantly, Dr Corbyn’s Physician Workers Party mobilised the intern vote, where the promise of free biros and shorter ward-rounds won support from usually apathetic F1s.
The head of Radiology, Dr Nuttall, must be wondering whether his claim that “they come over here and demand X-rays” is enough to motivate his supporters
Ms May had hoped to gain support from the Radiology Independence Party – a group ridiculed and feared in equal measure. The RIP has, however, collapsed with the party once again failing to get a seat on a major executive body. The head of Radiology, Dr Nuttall, must be wondering whether his claim that “they come over here and demand X-rays” is enough to motivate his supporters to leave their darkened rooms. Other committee members believe the RIP would soften their stance if they simply got to know the other staff.
The only good news for the Surgeons is that they have won back support North of the Main Corridor, with the Intensive Care seeing their share of the vote fall. Dr Sturgeon, head Intensivist, met the result in typically fashion. “I’m busy, and much smarter than you” she replied. When asked whether Intensive Care remained eager to have its own hospital she changed the topic and reiterated how her staff should continue working closely with the Trust. Ms May claims to be sympathetic to Intensive Care, but few believe she really is. Dr Wood, of Rehabilitation Medicine, has also discussed her own separate hospital but few take her seriously.
Dr Farron, Head of Paediatrics, believes staff should be asked again about whether they wish to remain in the Trust. Despite many acknowledging that they support Paediatricians in principle, others feel that they are naïve when it comes to the demands of adult medicine. In addition, Dr Farron who identifies himself as a traditional doctor, was criticized for comments that women doctors should “not get full retirement benefits”. At the press conference Dr Farron re-stated his concern that “first-past-the-post hospital voting means paediatrics never decides anything.” Other Departments also complained that the committee’s historic structure means their support is not reflected on the executive.
It remains to be seen whether all this will force the hospital into crisis, the likes of which have not been seen since winter.
When the dust settled, Ms May had enough support to go to the Chief Executive and seek permission to be its Chair. It remains to be seen whether all this will force the hospital into crisis, the likes of which have not been seen since winter. Of note, while a record number of general staff voted, they will likely continue to be patronized. The patients will continue to be ignored, and nobody expects hospital care to improve anytime soon.