Valerie Vaz MP raises concerns with NHS leadership following CQC Report on medical services at Walsall Healthcare Trust

Rt Hon Valerie Vaz MP responded to a CQC Report which called for significant improvements at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust

“I acknowledge the CQC’s Report which has highlighted a number of concerns at Walsall Manor. Frontline NHS staff have done a fantastic job throughout the pandemic, caring for our community and keeping us safe. They must not be scapegoated for the findings of this Report. I note that the CQC have not fully accounted for the impact of Covid-19 on staff.

Supporting staff is central to addressing the issues highlighted by this CQC Report. Years of pay freezes, record vacancies and increased workloads are affecting hard-pressed staff. The Government’s insulting 1% pay offer will only exacerbate these issues and they should honour the 2.1% agreed pay rise.

I am concerned about the change of senior leadership at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust. The recently appointed Chief Executive and Chair of Walsall Healthcare Trust both hold the same roles at Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust. It is unclear why executive leadership roles in two separate NHS Trusts are being held concurrently by the same individuals, particularly given the challenges that need to be addressed at Walsall Manor.

Since these appointments, I have been contacted with a number of concerns about the possibility of a merger between Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust. Any such merger would be a step in the wrong direction and completely inappropriate for the needs of people in Walsall.

I have written to the Regional Director of NHS Improvement to emphasise these concerns and I have also let the Chief Executive of NHS England Sir Simon Stevens know.

It is essential Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust is led with transparency and accountability so that the necessary improvements identified in this Report are made.”