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Colchester Hospital to create 'Time Garden' for terminally ill patients

The garden will be created in this courtyard in the hospital grounds Credit: Colchester Hospital

Colchester General Hospital has released plans to create a special garden for terminally ill patients and their families.

The 'Time Garden' will be built in this courtyard area and will be the only one of its kind in the East of England.

It will cost around £160,00 and hospital staff are going to take part in Colchester's Startlight Walk this weekend to start the fund raising campaign.

Staff are hoping to fund raise for the new 'Time Garden' Credit: Colchester Hospital

"We're convinced that having our own Time Garden will help us to improve the experience of patients in the last weeks and days of life, as well as for their families. It will allow patients who are on a ward to choose to have some time on their own with their loved ones. "

– Beverley Pickett, End of Life Care Facilitator

It will include a pavilion with enough space for two beds, a seating area, and facilities to make drinks and listen to music.

Colchester Hospitals Charity (CoHoC) has created a special Time Garden fund where donations can be made.

CQC brands Colchester Hospital 'inadequate - Statement from Essex County Council

Colchester Hospital received an 'inadequate' rating from the CQC Credit: ITV

The following statement has been released by Essex County Council, in response to the publishing of the Care Quality Commision's latest report into the hospital:

“We are disappointed to read the outcome of the CQC report today, particularly given these are issues that have been raised before and a substantial amount of time and effort has been focused on improvements.

“As the lead authority for safeguarding in the county, our primary concern is patient safety. We are a critical friend to CHUFT and are offering them an unprecedented level of support in order for them to return to the standard that patients deserve.

“We are actively involved in the Trust’s recovery plan, in our opinion the plan is strong with key activities and targets identified. This plan identifies widespread, radical change and we are confident that the new leadership team are implementing the early stages of this plan, but acknowledge radical change takes time. We will continue to ensure progress is being clearly evidenced and key issues are urgently acted upon.

“As part of the recovery plan, a number of our senior staff are spending time at CHUFT. This includes both our Head of Safeguarding and one of our Directors for Adult Social Care regularly working at the hospital and advising them on best practice in assessments, safeguarding and operational communications. In addition, we are assisting them to strengthen their change process more efficiently through advice and support from our data intelligence team and specialist organisational change team.

“Members of staff from our community social work teams are now working alongside our hospital social work teams to strengthen support to people able to be discharged home. We have facilitated workshops between hospital ward staff and social work staff enabling them to work more closely with vulnerable people from their admission through to discharge.

“We are confident that we are doing everything in our power to assist CHUFT with their improvement plan and believe that if all partners continue to work together CHUFT will once more become a hospital that offers excellent care for the community of Colchester.”

– Cllr Dick Madden, Essex County Council's Cabinet Member for Adult’s and Children’s Services

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CQC brands Colchester Hospital 'inadequate - Statement from the Trust’s Council of Governors

The following statement has been released by the Council of Governors for Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, in response to the publishing of the Care Quality Commision's latest report into the hospital:

"We are disappointed and concerned with the Care Quality Commission’s latest report on Colchester General Hospital. Clearly, improvements are needed – many actions have already been taken and more are planned.

However, the report does not reflect the progress that has been made at the Trust over the past year and does not recognise the tremendous dedication of the Trust’s highly committed staff.

As Trust Governors we can say that our patients and local communities can have confidence in the quality of care and treatment provided by Colchester Hospital Trust.

We are on a journey of improvement but it’s a journey that will take some time. The Trust’s reputation has been tarnished following a CQC report at the end of 2013 which triggered independent inquiries into allegations of bullying and cancer waiting time manipulation. The inquiries concluded that there was no evidence of a systemic culture of bullying at the Trust, nor any evidence of data manipulation. But these allegations have adversely affected the Trust’s reputation and made it more difficult to recruit and retain vital staff.

We sincerely hope therefore that this latest CQC report does not have a similar effect on our proactive efforts to recruit and retain staff."

– Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust.

Hospital CEO to face councillors

Colchester Hospital CEO Dr Lucy Moore is due to meet with members of Tendring District Council. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Chief Executive of the troubled Colchester Hospital is to be questioned by councillors.

Dr Lucy Moore is due to meet with members of Tendring District Council. They've called for the meeting after the hospital declared a "major incident" that lasted 13 days. The Council is seeking assurances that everything possible is being done to improve things at the hospital.

Colchester Hospital closes beds to help "manage pressure" on staff

A number of extra beds opened up at Colchester Hospital have now been closed. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A number of extra beds opened up at Colchester Hospital in Essex to help cope with "unprecedented demand" in A&E have now been closed.

The hospital argues that the amount of patients using the additional beds were stretching staff resources too much.

Two weeks ago a 'major incident' was declared, after a surprise inspection by the CQC found staff struggling to cope with the number of patients.

Normal service resumed on Wednesday, after patients were discharged and operations were postponed.

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Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell delighted after "internal major incident" is lifted

Sir Bob Russell. Credit: PA

Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell has expressed his delight that the "internal major incident" at Colchester Hospital has been lifted.

The hospital has returned to "normal working" following a period where staff struggled to cope with unprecedented demand.

“This has clearly been a very worrying time for all associated with the Hospital, staff and patients, as well as residents throughout our part of Essex.

I am delighted that the prompt action taken has led to this outcome, although I recognise this has been at the expense in particular of cancelled operations which I hope can be speedily reinstated. We are, of course, still left with the fact that the Hospital remains in ‘special measures’ but I am reassured that positive steps to work towards overcoming deep-rooted management structure issues will result in this aspect being resolved – although when is uncertain.”

– Sir Bob Russell MP

"Internal major incident" stood down as Colchester Hospital returns to normal working

Colchester General Hospital. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Colchester Hospital has announced that it has returned to "normal working".

The Trust declared a "internal major incident" earlier this month after staff struggled to cope with unprecedented demand and patients were told to stay away from its A & E department if possible.

The Care Quality Commission had raised safeguarding concerns following an inspection.

“It was clear at the time of the CQC visit that our staff, particularly in the Emergency Department and the Emergency Assessment Unit, were under serious pressure.

Pressure in the hospital has now been reduced, not least because people are considering carefully whether they really need to come to the Emergency.

In addition, with the support of our health partners, including North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, GPs and community services – we are confident we will be able to discharge more patients from the hospital in the coming days.

This will enable our staff to concentrate their efforts on the patients who really need acute care."

– Dr Lucy Moore, Trust Chief Executive

Colchester MP holds meeting with Health Secretary about hospital

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Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell has held a meeting with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to discuss the latest situation at Colchester Hospital.

Last week, Colchester General declared a major incident after the Care Quality Commission raised safeguarding concerns following an inspection.

Sir Bob says he believes the term 'major incident' is misleading and overstates the reality of the situation. He believes the 'major incident' will be lifted within the next few days.

The MP said he has been assured the problems highlighted by the Care Quality Commission are being addressed.

Sir Bob Russell MP

While over the years I have received complaints from patients and members of their families about their experiences at Colchester General Hospital, it is fair to say that expressions of gratitude are considerably greater.I wish to again place on record my appreciation to the medical and support staff at Colchester General Hospital. I am keen to do what I can to support them. Negativity can be so demoralising.I look forward to the lifting of “major incident” in the next few days, and for the ending of “special measures” as soon as possible.

– Sir Bob Russell MP
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