Minister visits to hear DRI staff concerns over reform

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STAFF at Doncaster Royal Infirmary warned a Government minister of their concerns over plans to change the NHS.

Minister of State for Health, Simon Burns, heard the concerns when he visited Doncaster Royal Infirmary to see the emergency department and the unplanned care centre.

He met consultant and clinical director Juan Ballesteros, matron Lisa Dixon, and general manager Michelle Veitch.

He looked around the unit and heard about the twin challenges of rising numbers of patients and the difficulty of recruiting senior medical staff. To keep the service running, that means reliance on agency staff.

A spokesman said: “The minister met a group of mainly clinical staff from across our hospitals.

“This was part of the Government’s Listening event, to get the views of frontline staff on proposed NHS reforms.”

He heard that staff concerns include the risk of ‘cheap and easy’ services going to the private sector, leaving NHS hospitals with ‘expensive and difficult’ cases to tackle.