A GOVERNOR has mounted a vigorous defence of Burton’s Queen’s Hospital after an NHS chief announced plans to investigate its mortality rate following the Stafford Hospital debacle.
Sheila Jackson, a long-standing representative for South Derbyshire, spoke hours after she and her colleagues quizzed Queen’s chiefs about Sir Bruce Keogh’s plans to examine the trust and 13 others at the Prime Minister’s behest.
“It may well be that another Stafford (where up to 1,200 patients died due to poor quality care) will emerge somewhere else – but it certainly won’t be at Burton,” said Mrs Jackson, who served as the hospital’s accounts payable manager for almost 20 years.
“We’ve got a good mix of consultants and specialists who are dedicated to their work.
“We’ve got a brilliant team in accident and emergency who go beyond their duty in making sure patients are OK, even if they are pressured.
“I would say that, personally, Burton hospital is my hospital of choice because of the treatment I’ve received there and because of the staff.
“It’s small enough that it’s more like a family.”
Earlier this week, Sir Bruce said Queen’s would be scrutinised due to its hospital standardised mortality ratio, which is above the normal range.
Mrs Jackson said: “It needs doing because Stafford has put doubts into the minds of the majority of British people.
“It’s unfortunate Burton is on the list but, in another way, when Sir Bruce has been and seen there is not a problem, then it will set people’s minds at rest.”
She said if there was ever a care problem at Queen’s, staff would raise the alarm.
“Staff at Burton hospital are too vocal,” the governor said.
“We have a very strong whistleblowing policy and people will shout if things like that go wrong.”
Mrs Jackson believes Queen’s mortality is due to its population and job history.
“A lot of it is down to the ageing population and past history of employment such as the mines, pipeworks and breweries,” she said.
“That sort of industry was not beneficial to health and we are now starting to feel the impact.”