Two independent reports into the quality of care at Tameside Hospital, which serves Glossopdale, have prompted the resignations of two senior bosses.
The reviews, which surfaced in the Guardian on Tuesday, revealed severe delays in the assessment, treatment and admission of patients at the Greater Manchester hospital over March and April.
Yesterday (Wednesday), Christine Green, chief executive of the Tameside Hospital Trust, and Tariq Mahmood, medical director, announced their resignations.
GPs and patients in the area had called for them to leave after the reports disclosed instances where patients were left in pain for four days to see a consultant and were left waiting for A and E in a corridor for seven hours.
They blamed the deficiencies in service on the fact that beds were frequently full and there was often a shortage of doctors and nurses.
The hospital, in Ashton-under-Lyne, which provides care for 250,000 people in Derbyshire and east Manchester and, is one of 14 in England which are under scrutiny, following the Mid Staffordshire scandal earlier this year.
NHS medical director Professor Bruce Keogh was asked to carry out the investigation in February; the results of which have yet to be released.
Councillor Caitlin Bisknell, leader of High Peak Borough Council, said: “I am very concerned by the latest reports as detailed in the Guardian which clearly affect many people on the Glossopdale area who use Tameside Hospital.
“I am working closely with my Labour colleagues, the three MPs for Tameside, Jonathan Reynolds, Andrew Gwynne and David Heyes, who have been campaigning for many years to ensure Tameside Hospital delivers the level of care expected of an NHS Hospital.
“I echo their comments that although the majority of care delivered by the Hospital’s front-line staff is praised by patients, there have been serious concerns about aspects of care and governance at the Hospital for some time now, which the Hospital Trust are well aware of. Like them, I believe that new leadership is urgently needed.
“This is why I welcomed the review into the delivery of health services at the Hospital Trust by Sir Bruce Keogh. I believe this process will give us the chance to address the problems Tameside faces.
“There needs to be significant and sustained improvement across several different areas of care and management. I am confident this can be done, and in doing so restore local confidence in the Hospital’s ability to meet the needs of people in Glossopdale.”
High Peak MP Andrew Bingham said: “I think that Ms Green has done the right thing in standing down. Tameside Hospital has, under her stewardship, been in the news too many times for the wrong reasons.
“As I said prior to her resignation, I felt it was time she saw sense and stepped down to allow a fresh start. I hope that her resignation does not come with any form of financial recompense which I believe would be entirely inappropriate in the circumstances, and I will be writing to the Chairman of the Governors for reassurance on this.
“With Ms Green’s departure, I hope that the hospital can move to correct its problems swiftly and set about regaining the trust of my constituents in and around the Glossop area who rely on it.”
A spokesman from Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We are committed to ensuring high-quality care for the people of Tameside and Glossop and those that use the services it commissions.
“The CCG works with a number of external bodies including Healthwatch, the Care Quality Commission & Monitor and welcomes their input in providing robust scrutiny of all providers of care commissioned by the CGG, including Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust.
“The hospital is currently part of the Bruce Keogh review. The review has not yet been fully completed. We cannot make comment on any potential outcomes at this stage, as to do so would risk prejudicing this important process.”
Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “We have developed concerns in relation to this trust over the last few months, and recently wrote to both the Care Quality Commission and the Secretary of State for Health to inform them that we had reason to believe that the care being delivered there wasn’t up to standard.
“Whistle blowers and patients that have contacted us suggest that there are not enough staff to meet the needs of patients, and that the hospital has been beset by a number of scandals over recent years.
“Now that the apparent substandard care has been publically recognised we will continue to lobby the CQC and the government to ensure that action is taken to improve the hospital and the care that patients receive.”