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Hospital trust respond to damning report

Mark Brearley,Chief Executive at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We have takenthe concerns raised within this report very seriously and have an action planin place that we have shared with the CQC.

This inspection took place in July following the Keogh Review and we have already addressed a number of the issues. We have:

  • Put a plan in place for safeguarding training
  • Improved risk assessment for patients presenting at Emergency Department and Urgent Care Centre who are at risk of falls
  • Identified Matron to oversee the care of patients in escalation areas.
  • Increased bed capacity by opening a ward (24 beds) on Burnley General Hospital site
  • Additional beds will be opened on the Royal Blackburn Hospital site (35 beds) as part of the winter plan by mid-December.
  • Doubled capacity to care for patients at home (virtual wards) from 150 to 300
  • Established clear monitoring to the Trust Board
  • Taken immediate action to improve staffing levels by recruiting an additional 70 nursing and midwifery staff.

“We have senior clinicians monitoring the improvements to ensure the measures taken are sustained and the Medical Director and myself receive weekly reports for assurance.

“We deliver excellent care every day, the quality of care and ensuring the dignity and safety of all our patients is the number one priority for us and I want to assure all our patients, their families and the general public that we will always listen to what you tell us and learn from your experiences, and I am sorry that sometimes we haven’t done this.

“Although we have outlined the changes made to date, we still face a challenge and will continue to work really hard to get things right. We have an excellent workforce who we are very proud of, who are committed and deliver excellent care every day.”

– Mark Brearley, Chief Executive at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust


Report calls for 'immediate improvement' at East Lancs hospitals

The Care Quality Commission has told East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust that it must make improvements to comply with national standards.

It follows an unannounced inspection at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, in response to a whistleblower and focused on the trust’s A&E department and emergency care.

The report, identifies that the trust was failing to meet three of the four national standards reviewed. Areas of concern included:

  • Occasions when patients’ dignity was not being respected. For example, failure to ensure patients’ clothing fully protected their dignity and situations where patients were being treated without the use of privacy curtains.
  • Inconsistent incident reporting.
  • Not all staff working with children in the accident and emergency department had received formal children’s safeguarding training.
  • Inconsistent incident reporting.
  • Inadequate patient assessment and risk management arrangements
  • Trust wide systems for monitoring service quality were not sufficiently robust to ensure all risks were identified and managed effectively.

As a result of the inspection, CQC has issued two formal warnings to the trust, requiring improvements in relation to standards of care and welfare and assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.

Inspectors will return, unannounced, to check improvements have been made.

Report reveals 'serious failings' at Blackburn hosptial

Royal Blackburn Hospital Credit: ITV Granada

A report by the health watchdog has criticised the Royal Blackburn Hospital after unannounced visits revealed serious failings in a number of areas.

The Care Quality Commission found cases of poor care and some A&E staff who weren't fully cleared to work with children.

The East Lancashire Hospital trust said it's taking action over the concerns raised.

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MP: No CQC 'cover-up' inquiry 'disappointing'

The MP for Barrow and Furness said he was disappointed there would be no inquiry into the alleged Care Quality Commission cover-up.

The initial review highlighted the CQC's failure to investigate a spate of baby deaths at Furness General Hospital.

This is disappointing given the seriousness of the cover-up at the CQC and its impact on Barrow families but the police ultimately had to make an assessment of whether they thought prosecutions could be brought successfully.

However, the decision not to include the CQC in the police probe does leave the path clear for these shocking failings to be included in the independent inquiry that will shortly begin and I hope its chair will agree to my request to do that.

– John Woodcock, Barrow and Furness MP
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Chief Inspector on building 'army' to assess hospitals

The new Chief Inspector of Hospitals has spoken to ITV News about his plans to build a "small army" of inspectors.

Professor Sir Mike Richards said: "I'm looking for both patients and doctors and nurses who really want to help this process of making sure the NHS is as good as it possible can be.

He also said he hoped in his new role, he would able to bring "a belief that rigorous measurement and assessment of hospitals is the first stage in an improvement programme".


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'Good potential step forward' in hospital inspections

In response to plans for NHS patients to join hospital inspection teams, the Patients Association tweeted:

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No police inquiry into CQC 'cover-up'

Senior managers accused of a cover-up at the Care Quality Commission will not face a police inquiry, Cumbria Police said.

Furness General Hospital. Credit: PA Wire

Officers will not investigate the health regulator for failings identified in an independent report which said there was "persuasive evidence" that senior officials ordered a damning internal review to be deleted.

The review highlighted the CQC's failure to investigate a spate of baby deaths at Furness General Hospital.

And the latest independent review, conducted by management consultants Grant Thornton, implied that the former chief executive Cynthia Bower, her deputy Jill Finney and media manager Anna Jefferson backed the suppression of the internal review.

A Cumbria Constabulary spokeswoman said the failure to act on the internal review "had no consequences for the health care provision for the people of Cumbria".

Cumbria Police won't investigate Care Quality Commission

Furness General Hospital Credit: PA

Cumbria police won't investigate the CQC over its alleged failure to act on concerns about Morecambe Bay Trust, including Furness General Hospital, as highlighted in the Thornton Report. The force were already investigating a number of deaths at the hospital.

North West hospitals face new inspection teams

Two hospital trusts to sample new style inspections Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Two hospital trusts in the north west will be the first to be targeted by new inspection teams aimed at improving patient care across the country.

Like most hospitals, Salford Royal, placed in the low risk category, and the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen, placed in the "Variety of risk points in between" category, will face visits from larger groups of medical experts than before and trained members of the public.

The improvements follow the national health review carried out by Bruce Keogh and the Care Quality Commission's appointment of a new inspector.

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