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Burton's Queen's Hospital set to remain in special measures following latest report

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 23, 2014


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THE trust which oversees Burton's Queen's Hospital has been told that it must remain in special measures for the time being.

But chief executive Helen Ashley today vowed to make sure that all necessary improvements were in place by autumn and says that she is still the right person to take the hospital forward.

Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees the running of the Belvedere Road site, was placed in special measures alongside 10 others following the Keogh review last year, with five of those having been removed last week. However, the Burton trust has been told that it will not yet be removed, despite Mrs Ashley highlighting improved practice in a number of areas.

In a follow-up report published yesterday, chief inspector Sir Mike Richards found that the level of medical care offered was still inadequate, while six of eight areas still required further improvement. The report found that between January and March this year, seven per cent of patients spent time on three or more wards during their stay at the hospital.

He said: "Patients were often moved around the hospital to accommodate new admissions, feedback from clinical staff was that their clinical input and judgement was often ignored and overruled, resulting in patients being moved inappropriately.

"Clinical staff who had experienced this practice told us that they were concerned that these decisions could compromise patient safety."

Sir Mike, below, also expressed his ongoing concern regarding staff numbers of the hospital, stating: "Recruitment is a recognised challenge for the trust, with some wards below establishment. Bank, agency and locum staff were used to fill vacant posts and some staff worked additional hours. In some areas there was a high dependency on temporary nursing staff."

However, Mrs Ashley told the Mail that this issue, along with a number of others raised in the report, had since been addressed. She said: "This year we have already taken on staff from overseas and in September we will be taking on 20 more newly qualified nurses who are all recent graduates. We will then look to take on more following the next set of graduations in the new year.

"In the last 12 months staff have all demonstrated exceptional commitment, compassion and hard work and look forward to continuing to work alongside our staff in all three hospitals, to deliver compassionate, safe, high-quality, professional care to every patient who visits our hospitals."

Report outlines where Queen's improvements are needed

THE report published by the CQC found that Queen's Hospital 'requires improvement' in six out of eight categories.

Its level of medical care was deemed to still be 'inadequate' while Sir Mike Richards determined that the maternity and family planning procedures were 'good'.

The CQC reported that while the people it spoke to within the accident and emergency department were positive about the service, there were areas where the governance of the department could be developed, particularly with regards to the services provided for children.

Further concern was also raised regarding the availability of beds, with medical outliers impacting negatively on the use of surgical beds. The report said: "This included some post-operative surgical patients being moved to other wards to accommodate new elective admissions, due to medical patients using surgical beds."

In addition, although the report found that staff attending to children were 'caring and compassionate', it stated that: "There was no dedicated room with suitable equipment in which to provide high dependency care on the children's wards if needed."

It also found that the end of life provision offered was not clearly defined and was 'fragmented'. Attention was drawn to the fact that some patients receiving end of life care could be admitted and discharged without seeing a member of the end of life team, in some cases meaning that appropriate support could not be given.

Inspectors also found that there were 'significant waiting times' for those on the outpatient ward, although it did acknowledge that the organisation was reviewing care and treatment through local clinical audits and monthly dashboards by division.

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