Patients at Croydon University Hospital are at risk due to inadequate levels of staffing, according to the Care Quality Commission.
A new report released by the organisation states that the hospital is one of 17 in the country which do not have enough staff “to keep people safe and meet their health and welfare needs”.
There is the threat that the hospital could become another victim of the coalition’s plans to cut spending with the closure of the A&E department, which 120,000 people attend each year, as well as the maternity department.
A Croydon hospital nurse, 27, who wished to remain anonymous, told Eastlondonlines that the staff would fight any plans to close the hospital’s A&E and to protect their jobs.
She added: “We are working hard to protect the community, but it is hard, we are struggling. It seems to be us against them [the government]. I hope the community in Croydon kicks up like the people in Lewisham.”
Another unnamed employee of the hospital, 42, said: “I think people in Croydon are nervous. We are hearing about the A&E closing and I am seeing staffing problems and waiting times day in day out. If we loose these services along with Lewisham, Epsom and St Helier hospitals, we’ll have nothing.”
Gavin Barwell, Croydon MP, said: “The idea that a place of Croydon’s size could have a hospital without an A&E and maternity unit is absurd.”
However, UNISON has vowed to oppose any plan to close Croydon University Hospital’s A&E or maternity units and Croydon Job Centre Plus have recently been advertising nursing positions within the hospital on Twitter. One reads: “Start 2013 with an exciting new role – Senior Nursing roles in A&E & AMU.”
The coalition government is pushing plans for a top-down reorganisation of the NHS over the next three years.