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.”
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