The damning verdict of a review into two of our region's hospitals. Tonight, special measures are being stepped up at Basildon Hospital in Essex, giving inspectors the power to fire senior managers.
The Government's Keogh Review spares nearby Colchester from special measures, but warns both hospitals need to show significant improvement.
Sir Bruce Keogh has also set out a vision for where the NHS can get to within two years, as his report into high death rates at 14 hospital trusts is published.
- Making demonstrable progress to reducing avoidable deaths in hospitals.
- Patients and clinicians will have confidence in the quality of assessments made by the CQC, not least because they will have been active participants in inspections.
- No hospital will be an island – professional, academic and managerial isolation will be a thing of the past.
- Nurse staffing levels and skill mix will appropriately reflect the caseload and the severity of illness of the patients they are caring for and be transparently reported by Trust boards.
- Patients will not just feel like they have been listened to but will be able to see how their feedback is impacting on their own care and the care of others.
Colchester and Basildon Hospitals in Essex were investigated as part of the Keogh Review which looked at high death rates. As a result of the review, Basildon Hospital will remain in special measures.
In February David Cameron asked Bruce Keogh - the Medical Director of the NHS - to review the 14 hospitals in England with the highest death rates, those included Basildon and Colchester.
The report, published today, found that across the 14 hospitals there have been 13,000 excess deaths since 2005 - that is the number of patients dying over and above what might be expected in a given year. It is thought around 1,600 of those were at Basildon and Thurrock.
Basildon is one of 11 of the hospitals that will remain in special measures. This means it will be under even more scrutiny, and that members of the Trust's Board could be fired if things do not improve.
Sir Bruce Keogh has set out a vision for where the NHS can get to within two years, as his report into high death rates at 14 hospital trusts is published.
Making demonstrable progress to reducing avoidable deaths in hospitals. Patients and clinicians will have confidence in the quality of assessments made by the CQC, not least because they will have been active participants in inspections.
No hospital will be an island – professional, academic and managerial isolation will be a thing of the past. Nurse staffing levels and skill mix will appropriately reflect the caseload and the severity of illness of the patients they are caring for and be transparently reported by Trust boards.
Patients will not just feel like they have been listened to but will be able to see how their feedback is impacting on their own care and the care of others.
The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced that 11 of 14 NHS Trusts investigated over higher than expected will be placed into “special measures”, this means:
- Each hospital will be required to implement the recommendations of the Keogh review, with external teams sent in to help them do this. Their progress will be tracked and made public
- The Trust Development Authority or Monitor will assess the quality of leadership at each hospital, requiring the removal of any senior managers unable to lead the improvements required.
- Each hospital will be partnered with high-performing NHS organisations to provide mentorship and guidance in improving the quality and safety of care.
As the results of his review into 14 hospital trusts with unusually high mortality rates were published, NHS Medical Director, Sir Bruce Keogh, said:
“Higher mortality rates do not always point to deaths which could have been avoided but they do act as a ‘smoke alarm’ indicator that there could be issues with the quality of care.
“Not one of these trusts has been given a clean bill of health by my review teams. These reviews have been highly rigorous and uncovered previously undisclosed problems.
"I felt it was crucial to provide a clear diagnosis, to write the prescription, and, most importantly, to identify what help these organisations might need to support their recovery or accelerate improvement.
“Mediocrity is simply not good enough and, based on the findings from this review I have set out an achievable ambition which will help these hospitals improve dramatically over the next two years", he added.
Eleven NHS hospital trusts in England are to be put under special measures for "fundamental breaches of care", the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.
- Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
- Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
- George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
- Medway NHS Foundation Trust
- North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
- Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman has said today's NHS trust report reflects:
"A Government determined to look very carefully at where there are pockets of poor practice, where standards are not high enough, where patients and their families are being failed."
He added: "Poor standards are just unacceptable... Of course many people get absolutely excellent treatment in the NHS, but there are failings. They need to be identified and measures put in place to deal with them."
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has defended the Labour Government's record on hospitals.
During Health Questions in the Commons, Mr Burnham brought up the investigations of Basildon and Tameside hospitals.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was "surprised" that Mr Burnham wanted to mention events at Tameside, as the hospital had "high death rates for eight years under Labour" and the then-Government "ignored warnings".
Mr Burnham rejected the Health Secretary's remarks as "wrong", adding, "I ordered unannounced inspections into Tameside".
Sir Richard Thompson, president of the Royal College of Physicians has said that "hospital services must change."
– Sir Richard Thompson, president of the Royal College of Physicians
It is clear that parts of the system must change to better meet patients' needs.
The NHS is struggling to cope with increasing pressures on acute services, patients with increasingly complex needs, and a breakdown of out-of-hours care.
Current services no longer meet the needs of patients; we are trying to fit around outdated systems. Patients' demands have changed and so our hospital services must change.