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Tameside trust says it's 'turned a corner'

by Elaine Willcox

"We are making significant improvements".

That's the message from Karen James, Interim Chief Executive, Tameside General Hospital in response to a critical report by CQC inspectors who found the trust was still failing to meet 8 out of 11 key national standards.

The Trust says it has already started recruiting 60 nurses and compassion is at the heart of what they do.

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Tameside Hospital Trust respond to inspection report

Karen James, Interim Chief Executive said:

“This visit by CQC inspectors took place in January which was 5 months into our improvement programme.

We accept we are on a journey to deliver a first class health service and therefore it is very encouraging to note that the inspectors found our improvements to patient services were happening across the hospital and are making a positive difference.

Most of the 150 patients, relatives, carers and staff the Inspector spoke with described our improvements as being positive and observed our staff to be caring, friendly and courteous.

Our service improvement programme addresses the issues raised by the Inspectors and includes safeguarding vulnerable adults in our care, additional training for staff and recruiting 60 additional nursing staff to further improve quality and care across the hospital.

We continue to work hard to make further improvements in patient care so we consistently deliver a high standard of care to all of our patients and take this report and all patient feedback very seriously.

We continually seek feedback from patients and their relatives to ensure we continue to make the necessary progress and deliver high levels of care”.

Inspectors find 'serious shortfalls' at Tameside hospital

The NHS watchdog has identified a number of failings at Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

The concerns identified by inspectors would normally lead to CQC taking enforcement action against the Trust. However, Tameside Hospital is currently in Special Measures.

Last year the chief executive Chrisitine Green resigned following a several critical reports and claims a she presided over a "prevailing culture of failure".

However, earlier this year a report by Monitor the regulator for health services commended Tameside Hospital NHS Trust for making "exceptional progress' on their road to delivering better and safer treatment to patients.

Although we were pleased to find improvement in some areas since our last inspection, our inspectors found a number of serious shortfalls against national standards.

We have told the Trust where further improvements must be made to ensure patients and their families receive the service they are entitled to expect.

We will return shortly to check that the necessary changes have been made and can be sustained for the future.

As this Trust is currently in Special Measures and already subject to enforcement action by Monitor, we have also shared the findings of our inspection with Monitor and asked them to ensure the concerns we have identified are addressed as part of their overall improvement programme for the Trust.”

– Malcolm Bower-Brown, CQC North

Report criticises Tameside hospital trust

The NHS watchdog has told Tameside hospital trust it needs to make improve to meet national standards. The Care Quality Commission said there were serious shortfalls in some areas including, delays, cancellations and treating people with mental health issues.

Inspectors talked to over 150 patients, relatives and staff and most spoke positively about the recent changes. Patients and relatives also spoke highly of the friendly and caring approach of staff.

However, inspectors found that the Trust was failing to meet eight of the 11 national standards reviewed. Some of the key issues of concern were:

  • Some staff didn't have adequate understanding of the legal requirements of the Mental Health Act 1983 and Mental Capacity Act 2005, on occasion, consent to treatment had not been properly obtained. Inspectors found one patient who had been detained unlawfully in the hospital for several days.
  • Some patients experienced delays in getting seen in the outpatient department.
  • Some elective operations were cancelled due to bed shortages.
  • In some areas, the planning and delivery of care did not meet patients' individual needs. i.e: support for patients with mental health conditions in A&E.
  • Not enough qualified staff to meet the needs of patients in the Medical Assessment and Admissions Unit and on some adult medical wards.
  • In parts of the hospital, some staff did not adequately respect patients’ dignity when providing care and treatment.

Tameside Hospital making 'exceptional progress'

A new report by Monitor has commended Tameside Hospital NHS Trust for making "exceptional progress' on their road to delivering better and safer treatment to patients.

In July 2003 Tameside was put into special measures following the Keogh Review, which identified concerns with measures the trust was taking to prevent hospital acquired infections.

The Keogh Review also raised concerns that there was insufficient clinical cover, particularly out of hours.

As a result Tameside applied 22 urgent or immediate actions in their Keogh Action Plan.

By January 2014, it had delivered five and 17 were on track to be delivered. This included decreasing the number of patients falls by 18% and meeting the national target to deliver 95% of all care harm free.

Although there is further work to be done, NHS staff at all special measures trusts deserve praise for driving improvements in the quality of their services.

– Monitor special measures report February 2014
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