Health Trust will improve hospitals

Burnley General Hospital
Burnley General Hospital

A top performing health trust in Newcastle is to help improve standards in Burnley and Blackburn hospitals.

Bosses from Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust will mentor staff at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust following an announcement by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Ten other trusts across the country which were also placed in special measures have been paired with top performing organisations.

The announcement came as East Lancashire hospital bosses published their action plan to address issues highlighted in the damning Keogh Report earlier this year.

The inquiry, triggered after the Trust was found to have some of the highest death rates in the country, slammed poor governance, inadequate staffing levels, higher death rates at weekends and a lack of compassion.

Since the Keogh Report, the Trust has recruited 30 trained nurses, 30 health care assistants, nine midwives and has increased the number of nurses on medical wards during the night shift.

A new 20-bed step-down ward has been opened at Burnley General Hospital for patients who still need some care and are not yet well enough to return home.

Patients or carers worried about the quality of care are now offered face to face meetings to discuss their concerns.

To improve consistency for good practice, different clinical groups have been brought together under the Joint Clinical Leaders Forum to talk about dealing with complaints, incidents and claims.

Plans for an Outpatient Antibiotic Service and Ambulatory Care, where people coming to the hospital unscheduled can have investigations and exploratory examinations carried out without the need for an overnight stay in hospital, have been approved and will mean that patients will be able to go home from hospital more quickly.

Mr Mark Brearley, chief executive of the Trust, said: “We welcome the announcement by the Secretary of State.

“We have already put in place a number of key changes outlined above and once in post, we will work with our improvement director and colleagues within our partner trust to meet the challenges going forward.”

Click here to register and have your say on the stories and issues that matter to you