Rugby’s St Cross Hospital is safe says hospital boss

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A HOSPITAL leak forced bosses to act quickly in telling staff about the proposed closure of the Birch Ward at Rugby’s St Cross Hospital.

Andy Hardy, the chief executive, said the news emerged before some staff had been told.

But he insists that savings have to be made and the Barby Road hospital is not being singled out.

He was also adamant that it’s not the beginning of the end for St Cross, adding that the people of Rugby should be reassured the future of the hospital is safe.

“This is absolutely not the case,” said Mr Hardy.

“You only have to look at all the developments taking place at the hospital, including the opening of the £2m macular unit and the first hip operation of its kind in Europe taking place there.

“More doctors are spending time at St Cross too. Hospital care is incredibly important for us.”

Staff at the hospital have said they had been treated badly by the trust, and have suggested savings could be made elsewhere, rather than closing the 22-bed Birch Ward - the last remaining general medical care ward on the site.

Mr Hardy added: “We would’ve liked to have handled it differently but there was a leak and we had to deal with things quickly.

“There are no job losses. All the staff are all guaranteed to keep their jobs.”

He said the trust is saving £28m this year.

“Birch Ward closing is one of 40 schemes to save money,” added Mr Hardy.

“St Cross is not being picked on.”

He said difficult decisions had to be made due to tough financial times but did not in any way mean the hospital’s days were numbered.

The ward, which opened in 1992, is to shut on November 30. This will leave the hospital with 136 beds.

If appropriate care can be given at St Cross, patients will stay at St Cross,” added Mr Hardy.