Hospital chiefs quizzed by public

Whiston Hospital 'Ann Marr chief executive St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust outside the new premises.
Whiston Hospital 'Ann Marr chief executive St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust outside the new premises.

HOSPITAL bosses faced a string of prickly questions from the public at the NHS Trust’s AGM last week.

Chief executive, Ann Marr, and chairman, Les Howell, were repeatedly quizzed about the trust’s “vulnerability to privatisation” due to funding cuts - but insisted that they could meet Foundation Trust status by 2014 by alternative means.

Les Howell said: “No private sector companies are queueing up to take over Whiston and St Helens hospitals, nor am I aware of any government initiative to promote that.”

And Ann Marr added that “changes in the way we manage patient pathways” - with more people treated in the community - was the best way forward.

Other questions from the public related to individual patient cases, including one which expressed concern about “the lack of doctors at the weekend”. Assistant medical director, Terry Hankin, said a new 24/7 medical emergency team had now been created.