Unrest in Calw and Böblingen: There is a need for therapy on the clinic network – Calw

Figuratively speaking, the “helpers in need” seem to have become patients themselves. Photo: Klinikverbund Südwest

16 years after the foundation, the Sydwest hospital group is simmering. The reasons lie in the traditional shareholder structure and in the not always conflict-free relationship between the districts of Böblingen and Calw.

District of Calw / Böblingen – Wear and tear is spreading on the executive floors of Southwest Hospital Group. Two regional directors, a chief physician and the CEO: Shareholders must fill four management positions within just one year. The desk in the top management room of the Leonberg and Herrenberg clinics has been emptied twice in recent months, in Böblingen Cardiology – one of the largest medical departments – the chief physician turned his back on the hospital beds after only four months, and Verbund’s CEO Martin Loydl announced already its departure in October 2021. Since then, a new manager has been sought for six clinics and 5,000 employees in the Boeblingen and Calw districts. One thing is for sure: a lot is happening in the hospital network. Too much, some think, in the wrong place others.

Chief physicians are fighting for the staff

Because the lively interaction at the top of one of the largest hospital operators in the southern part of the republic only seems to be a symptom. Symptom that the helper in distress has become the patient himself. What was decided in 2006 – a powerful amalgamation of clinics in the Calw and Böblingen districts – now faces enormous challenges. 16 years after the foundation, it smoldered under the roof of the holding company.

If you ask around, there are “a couple of huge problems”. About chief physicians who fight for medical staff and sometimes have a deep resentment towards each other, about a monstrous annual deficit of 26 million, about confusing and inefficient structures, about individual interests that torpedo the idea of ​​a group and about two district administrators who are more bad than right with each other could. The cardiologist, who gave up his job as chief physician after four months, still appears to be the slightest rejection, even though an observer calls it “a disgrace” to the hospital network.

A business construction with weaknesses

Summarizing what the well-informed circles are mumbling, it is clear that much of what is not going smoothly at the moment also has something to do with what the hospital group’s founders constructed in 2006: a complex corporate network. reflecting the realities is only partially fair. For under the holding company, which represents the whole company, and where Böblingen has a clear majority of 75.1 percent, there are two other companies where the respective districts of the two districts are packed together. Kreiskliniken Böblingen gGmbH and Kreiskliniken Calw gGmbH are 51 percent owned by the holding company and 49 percent by the respective districts. The clinics’ investments and financial burdens are thus disconnected from the network, and Calw and Böblingen are each responsible for their own hospitals.

A construction that has its weaknesses. When the board meets, at least one floor is needed to accommodate the 60 members, and the decision-making processes are sometimes similarly slow and inefficient. “Too many people have something to say,” says someone who knows the ropes. Strict decisions are not possible, and many board members are closer to having their own tower than to the association idea. Everyone has their clinics in mind first.

County boundaries are obsolete

The basic idea that each district is responsible for its property, however, seems outdated in times when medicine has long overcome the districts with inter-clinical collaboration: Warehouse, pharmacy, kitchen and administration have worked together for many years, 15 centers in all medical areas worry no longer about district and hospital boundaries. They act across.

The fact that the clinic network is still more determined by spatial boundaries than by community thinking and action is also due to the two very different districts that medically married 16 years ago: here the economically strong and prosperous district Böblingen, which brought four clinics into the marriage that rural Calw, which has a significantly smaller budget and only two clinics.

An unequal medical community of destiny, which is also felt again and again in mutual interaction. Insiders tell of the arrogance that Böblinger likes to place, on the other hand, there is a fundamental distrust that the Calw delegation shows towards its association partner. “They always have the feeling that they are being ripped off,” one can hear.

Two alphas at the top

Insiders agree that a portion is also being dug at the top of the ditch between the partners. With Roland Bernhard in Böblingen and Helmut Riegger in Calw, there are two alpha animals at the top of the district offices in power who give themselves nothing. An open secret is that the two are not exactly harmonious. In Böblingen one likes to perceive Calwer’s worries and sensitivities as a nuisance, in Calw one looks suspiciously at the exploding costs of building the airport clinic in Böblingen and sees oneself as the junior partner of a willing big competitor who does not take it. too seriously when it comes to spending money. The two partners’ eye level seems to have come out of sync – if it ever did.

This is also evident from the personality of the CEO. In the eyes of many Calw board members, Martin Loydl primarily represents Böblingen’s interests. “Then the impression was that he was governor of Böblingen,” says one behind closed doors. Anyone who listens closely to this clinic group will not miss the fact that the Calwer District Administrator also has his problems with the CEO and has a not insignificant part in it when Loydl, who has been with us from the beginning, will soon be leaving the clinic. group. While Riegger’s colleague Roland Bernhard and Boeblinger’s board think highly of Loydl and credit him with strong business management skills and high social skills, Helmut Riegger apparently has a different view of the clinic manager. He blames the CEO for the staffing problems and the large deficits in the association. There is therefore an understanding of the leader’s departure. “He does not have to play bogeyman,” says one interviewee who asked not to be mentioned.

The impression of a rift should not arise

Here Calwer, there Böblinger and in between many unresolved issues? When it comes to a statement from the two district offices about the clinic dispute, they are tempted not to give the impression of disharmony in the first place. In response, there are not really enlightening sentences that are mostly identical and seem coordinated. It is admitted that the districts “have actually had a few difficult months of substantive discussions”. However, this is due to the personnel and financial situation of the pandemic. The district administrators state that one is far away from a crunch in the association. They prefer to call the conflict “open discussions”.

These discussions seem to be concentrating more and more on one topic: the reform of the complicated shareholder structure. And at this point, it pays to look closely at the obligations of the two counties. There is agreement when it comes to emphasizing that economics is not the main problem of a restructuring. On the contrary, efficiency must be improved and work must take place at eye level. A project team has already been entrusted with this task. In the Böblingen district office, at this point, there seems to be a greater need to call deficits by their full name: “Of central importance,” they analyze in an additional section, is “merging the interests of the two districts.” The Böblinger side admits they are already one step ahead operationally.

Conflicts caused by a mix of competencies

Roland Mundle agrees that things can not continue as before. Mundle, leader of the Greens in the Böblinger district council and a member of the hospital association’s board, is the only one who would like to use his name to comment on this topic – in the sense of a constructive solution, which he emphasizes. . For away with the clinic network and back to the clinical lone fighter life is what must under no circumstances happen. On the contrary: “Now it’s about creating a good merger between the district clinics,” he says. In his opinion, the conflicts are based on competence confusion. Two GmbHs under one holding company, it can not go well. “The unrest so far is due to this construction,” he is sure. For him, therefore, there is only one solution: a common organization with a board consisting of representatives from both districts.

Many are sure that politics would only follow what has been practiced in the clinics for a long time. It is still unknown whether those responsible will find a way to march together. If not, there may be a risk of divorce and a relapse in the days of the individual clinics. The abyss would be reached. There is an urgent need for therapy.

Information about the clinic association

Klinikverbund Südwest was founded in 2006 by the districts of Böblingen and Calw and the city of Sindelfingen to bring together the clinics in Böblingen, Sindelfingen, Herrenberg, Leonberg, Nagold and Calw. The clinics have about 2,000 beds and serve a catchment area of ​​550,000 people. 5,000 staff care for nearly 80,000 inpatients and 300,000 outpatients a year.

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