15:43 Tuesday 04 February 2014

Keogh panel revisit Queen's six months after damning report

Written byLAURA HAMMOND

INSPECTORS who investigated failings at Queen’s Hospital last year have returned to review progress which has been made at the Burton site.

Members of the panel which visited Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust met with bosses to see what action had been taken against ‘urgent’ recommendations made in July, following an investigation which led to the trust being placed in special measures.

The outcome of the review, led by Sylvia Knight, acting regional chief nurse with NHS England, has not yet been disclosed, but senior staff in the trust have spoken previously about their confidence that good progress is being made against the action points.

In a progress report on the trust’s website a list has been published detailing steps taken since the summer to address the six action points which were put forward by Dr Ruth May and the Keogh panel.

Some actions, such as improving communication between staff and carrying out equipment checks took place right after the panel published its report, and others were timetabled for later in the year.

Dozens of newly-qualified nurses have now been installed at the site, including some recruited from Portugal, to solve staffing crises, and changes have been made to communication channels with the aid of Healthwatch and the Patients Association.

As one of 11 trusts placed in special measures following the publication of the Keogh report, Burton was paired with a high performing counterpart to promote good practice.

University Hospitals Birmingham began working with the trust in November, and a schedule of support has now been created.

Monthly meetings are also taking place with the watchdog Monitor, to ensure progress is being made.

These are due to come to an end in July – one year after the results of the investigation were published.

The Keogh inquiry looked into failings at 14 trusts which had higher-than-expected mortality rates. It came in the wake of the scandal at the now-dissolved Mid-Staffordshire trust.

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