New plans for failing hospitals

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is due to explain plans to turn around four hospitals in the midlands, and put in place special measures, in the wake of the scandal over standards at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

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Plan to tackle failing hospitals in the West Midlands

Top performing NHS managers from hospitals in Birmingham are to be brought in to turnaround two hospitals that are "failing" elsewhere.

After the Stafford Hospital scandal, a number of hospitals including George Eliot Hospital and Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were both put under special measure - because of high mortality rates.

Now they're been paired with University Hospitals Birmingham, which will act as a mentor.

Rather than managers writing reports on failing hospitals, the government says the new scheme should result in practical changes to improve patient standards.

Charlotte Grant reports.

Two Lincolnshire hospitals fail to meet any national standards, full report

Two hospitals in Lincolnshire have been criticised by a health watchdog after failing to meet any of the national standards expected of them.

The Care Quality Commission says low staffing levels and a lack of training at Lincoln County Hospital & Boston Pilgrim Hospital means patients are being let down.

The findings come as the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced that top-performing NHS managers are to be sent in to failing hospitals. Phil Brewster reports.


Burton NHS bosses welcome 'high fliers' scheme

Bosses at Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust say they are in favour of the government's new scheme to hire 'high flier' managers at failing hospitals.

The Trust is one of four in the Midlands which has been labeled as 'failing'.

It will be paired with University Hospitals, Birmingham to try and raise standards.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with University Hospitals, Birmingham who have an excellent reputation.

"Being partnered with a larger Trust to share their knowledge and expertise will help to us to continue to build upon the improvements that we are already making.

“Burton Hospitals are committed to delivering consistent care that is effective, safe and that provides the most positive patient experience."

– Helen Ashley, Chief Executive, Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
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Struggling hospital 'excited' about mentoring scheme

The Chief Executive of the George Eliot hospital trust has said that the hospital is 'excited about the work to be done' at it was announced that the George Eliot is one of eleven under performing hospitals which will be paired with a more successful hospital to try and bring its standards up.

Kevin McGee said: "We're really positive about the work that we're doing....I think that working with the QE and Dame Julie Moore and her team we can make further improvements. So we're really excited about the work that has to be done."

Hunt: Midlands hospitals have 'entrenched problems'

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that partnering failing hospitals with outstanding ones is the "fastest way" we can turn the NHS around.

Speaking to ITV News Central he said failing hospitals have "very entrenched problems."

He added: "Sometimes it's a problem about staffing, sometimes it's a problem about an out of date computer system, sometimes consultant cover in the A&E department.

"And the best way we can help them is to partner them with out outstanding NHS hospitals."

Speaking about The University of Birmingham Hospital, which will be partnered with Burton and George Eliot, he said Dame Julie Moore's leadership "will help them make sure that they have the right staffing, the right IT systems in place and the right clinical procedures.

"I think this will be the fastest way we can really turn things around."

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Ofsted-style inspections 'will help NHS transparency'

Speaking to Daybreak the Health Secretary has said that the new 'Ofsted-style' inspections of hospitals will help transparency throughout the NHS.

This week the new chief inspector of hospitals started his first inspections and this is a completely transparent Ofsted-style regime. What that means is that there is then huge pressure on people like me and NHS leaders because I'm coming in and being interviewed by you and you're saying 'well how are you getting on? Are these hospitals being turned round?

And that creates the pressure that means finally something is being done.

– Jeremy Hunt


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Details of new NHS 'high fliers' scheme

A new scheme to help find the future leaders of the NHS aims to recruit 'high fliers' both from within the NHS and elsewhere.

  • The 10-month long programme will start in the spring
  • It is thought £10m a year will be spent on the programme but there is no course head count yet
  • Eight weeks of the course will be held at a leading business school
  • The programme includes a six-month posting to a top performing NHS Trust with the recruits in a job and receiving a salary
  • A one-month placement with a top firm is also included - and discussions are ongoing with firms such as BT, Microsoft and FirstGroup

After completing the course participants must stay with the NHS for two years - or pay back fees if they leave early.

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NHS scheme to get doctors into management

A new leadership programme is being announced by Jeremy Hunt today. The scheme will designed to attract future leaders and hopes to bring more doctors and other medical staff in to the management of hospitals.

A health source said:

This won't be existing chief executives given remedial training and it won't be recent graduates or youngsters showing promise.

These are senior clinical people in the NHS and high-fliers who want to get to the top.

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