Hospital manager to leave

Bridlington Hospital Matthew Groom.
Bridlington Hospital Matthew Groom.

MANAGEMENT changes at Bridlington Hospital have been greeted with dismay by local health campaigners.

For the past ten months Matthew Groom has been seconded to Bridlington Hospital as development manager, and has been widely praised for the excellent work that he has done.

However a new post, Community Manager, has been created, which will also cover Whitby and Malton community hospitals. Mr Groom has not been appointed to the job, although the Trust has declined to confirm who the new postholder is.

Staff and health campaigners alike are concerned about the change. Jean Wormwell of PAGER said: “We’re very worried and very upset.

“Matthew has done so much good work here, he’s the only manager of Bridlington Hospital who’s ever made a difference.

“There was so much instability in the past and now we have more changes. We hoped that Matthew would be able to stay on. We’re bitterly disappointed

“With his help we thought we were moving forward, but here we go again.”

Other members of staff, who did not want to be named, were also stunned by the news that, after making such a positive impact, Mr Groom was not appointed to the role. One said: “We’re all gutted. Matthew has made so many improvements here, he’s made a real difference and on top of that he’s a very nice man, he gets on with everyone. We can’t believe they have appointed someone else.”

Dr Geoff Pearson is Chair of ERYLINk, which represents patients’ interests. He is also disappointed to see Mr Groom leave, but hopes that his legacy will remain. He said: “We have been very happy to work with Matthew Groom and feel that he has moved the development of Bridlington and District Hospital forward a great deal during his time at the hospital. “However, we are also aware that Matthew was only ‘on loan’ from the PCT and so it was likely that he would not be in situ for ever. We are very grateful to him for his hard work and sorry that he will not be continuing, but are assured by the management team that the work he has started will be continued by the new incumbent. We therefore look forward to continuing the excellent partnerships we have with Bridlington Hospital and Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare Trust (SNEY) as well as working with the new management team.

“The acquisition of SNEY by York Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust means that some rearranging of management is inevitable though it is not necessarily a bad thing. We will continue to monitor the situation and, should we have any issues, we will raise them with the management team.”

Lack of continuity has been a concern at Bridlington Hospital ever since Scarborough formally took it over from East Riding Community Trust in 1999, with frequent changes to the management arrangements.

Mike Proctor, Chief Executive of Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “As part of the future structure of the new organisation we have appointed a Community Manager, a role which will cover Malton, Whitby and Bridlington Hospitals. To support this role and to assist with the day-to-day running of each hospital we will be appointing a senior nurse to be based at each site, to manage each of the community hospitals.

“Matthew Groom was seconded to the role of Bridlington Hospital Development Manager as an interim measure in August from NHS East Riding where he has continued to work two days a week as Assistant Director of Localities.

“Matthew has done an excellent job providing a managerial focus for Bridlington as well as leading on several projects to develop services at the hospital. The new arrangements being put in place will ensure a clear management focal point for Bridlington Hospital will be established permanently and the good work Matthew started will continue.”

“The investment in new management arrangements for Bridlington demonstrates our commitment to continuing to develop services at the hospital. The new roles of Community Manager and Senior Nurse for Bridlington Hospital will focus on delivering projects to further improve services and providing on-site management to support the hospital’s staff.”

The new postholder will also have responsibility for the community hospitals in Whitby, 37 miles north of Bridlington, and Malton, 30 miles to the west. This is similar to the general manager role which was put in place in 1999, although at that time Bridlington also had a local manager as well as a senior nurse. Since then there have been several failed attempts to find a sustainable arrangement, none of which proved successful or popular until Mr Groom’s arrival last year.