Dear Sir,

Aside from the mistake made by your newspaper regarding the new opening time of Radiography (Stroud Hospital will, in fact, be losing weekend and bank holiday hours), we would like to point out other concerns not covered by the paper on 12th.

There is an assumption that community staff will be happy to move hours to the acute hospitals. Having spoken to union representatives and colleagues of those affected, we are not convinced this is accurate.

The official councillor briefing (available on the Gloucestershire County Council website and staff website) says the trust is “looking at a new model of service which will enable a different skill mix within the IR workforce which is less reliant on qualified radiographers”.

This raises grave concerns regarding the training and mentoring of these staff if there are barely enough staff to simply run the departments. It will raise issues of safe practice regarding ionising radiation and how this translates to The Health & Safety Executive guidance.

Lack of consultation is another concern. Despite knowing of these problems for many months the trust has only recently fully briefed the county council scrutiny committee. It has not engaged all stakeholder groups, including the public and unions, in the process or in decision-making.

Whilst Hospitals Trust regard this as a temporary measure (requiring minimal consultation of public and staff) there is a feeling it will become permanent. Once officially permanent, consultation is retrospective and not meaningful, and will appear disingenuous.

Few members of the public know about these changes until they need the service; but once informed they are, as you rightly report, dismayed by the continuing cuts and dismantling of services through outsourcing, selling off, diminishing standards, treatment rationing and loss of qualified and experienced staff due to the pressures of an underfunded, under resourced, fragmented service.

Fight for the NHS to become again the fairest, most cost effective and efficient system for all.


Christine Stockwell

Stroud Against the Cuts

Kwetu Main Road Whiteshill Stroud GL6 6AT