East Lancs hospital staff to inspect each other

East Lancs hospital staff to inspect each other

East Lancs hospital staff to inspect each other

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

HEALTH bosses are planning to launch new regime of ‘mini-inspections’ at the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General, in which staff will visit and report on each other.

The idea of departments examining each other is aimed at identifying and dealing with problems internally, rather than failings becoming embedded and then highlighted by national inspection teams.

Department staff will be asked to volunteer to be part of the unannounced inspection teams, which will also include representatives from the area’s clinical commissioning groups.

Chief executive Jim Birrell said: “The trust is planning a schedule of ‘mini inspections’ where the scrutiny of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the Chief Inspector of Hospitals is replicated internally, as one way of maintaining improved standards at our hospitals and in our community services.

“Members of staff from all disciplines volunteer to join an inspection team who will spend a day closely measuring the performance and standards of their peers in other departments.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has been in special measures since July last year, when NHS chief Sir Bruce Keogh made wide-ranging criticisms of the way it was run over several years.

Mr Birrell added: “The scheme has not yet been finalised, but the plan is that all services will be subject to an internal review, and like the CQC process, services will not be told in advance.

“Current thinking is that the inspections would take place twice a year. We tested this approach earlier in the year and it proved to be a very useful experience everyone involved.

“These mini inspections would be in addition to the existing internal quality assurance processes, and regular visits to services by directors.”

The CQC returned to the hospitals last month for a major inspection, the results of which will be key in the trust’s aim to come out of special measures.

A report is expected in July.

Comments (5)

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5:30pm Tue 20 May 14

mavrick says...

Who wants to to spy on their colleagues? This is no way to ensure standards are being kept.. A totally independent body should carry out these inspections. It would seem that nothing much has been gained long term.
Who wants to to spy on their colleagues? This is no way to ensure standards are being kept.. A totally independent body should carry out these inspections. It would seem that nothing much has been gained long term. mavrick
  • Score: 8

5:46pm Tue 20 May 14

jogalot says...

Informal inspections done openly between departments so they can help each other come up to standards would help, but snitching on each other, visiting secretly and creating hostility between departments is very very bad. How do these managers and planners and decision makers get their positions in the first place? They should be cleaning the wards, they'd be far more useful.
Informal inspections done openly between departments so they can help each other come up to standards would help, but snitching on each other, visiting secretly and creating hostility between departments is very very bad. How do these managers and planners and decision makers get their positions in the first place? They should be cleaning the wards, they'd be far more useful. jogalot
  • Score: 6

6:36pm Tue 20 May 14

Kevin, Colne says...

I applaud the idea of professional peer self-assessment and believe that Mr Birrell is right to give this serious consideration.

Much will depend on the way in which this is handled. I would be wary of labelling this as mini-inspections. To be quite honest I would hazard a guess that NHS staff on the front-line are simply worn-out and exhausted from over-inspection. The talk of a regimen of mini-inspections smacks of the worst kind of top-down, bureaucratic examination, or as one observer put it: the inspectors come around after the battle bayoneting the wounded.

Terminology is important. Far better, in my view, to cultivate the idea of professionals acting as honest friends to one another. Acting as an honest friend requires immense knowledge, skill and judgement. On occasion one is required to tell home truths. This is a million miles away from snitching.

In time one other thing that I would urge the Trust to consider is publishing every Review by Honest Friends on the Trust web-site.

Transparency is hugely important. I have to under-go very serious and major surgery – the sort where one is advised to get your affairs in order - and the specialism in question publishes outcomes for each centre and surgeon. I have to say that I have found this to be enormously useful and re-assuring and more to the point illustrating a profession that is worthy of the name.

If the East Lancashire Hospitals Trust can make this work, and that’s a Big IF, then one could envisage the day when the Trust could say to the CQC that their services are not required.
I applaud the idea of professional peer self-assessment and believe that Mr Birrell is right to give this serious consideration. Much will depend on the way in which this is handled. I would be wary of labelling this as mini-inspections. To be quite honest I would hazard a guess that NHS staff on the front-line are simply worn-out and exhausted from over-inspection. The talk of a regimen of mini-inspections smacks of the worst kind of top-down, bureaucratic examination, or as one observer put it: the inspectors come around after the battle bayoneting the wounded. Terminology is important. Far better, in my view, to cultivate the idea of professionals acting as honest friends to one another. Acting as an honest friend requires immense knowledge, skill and judgement. On occasion one is required to tell home truths. This is a million miles away from snitching. In time one other thing that I would urge the Trust to consider is publishing every Review by Honest Friends on the Trust web-site. Transparency is hugely important. I have to under-go very serious and major surgery – the sort where one is advised to get your affairs in order - and the specialism in question publishes outcomes for each centre and surgeon. I have to say that I have found this to be enormously useful and re-assuring and more to the point illustrating a profession that is worthy of the name. If the East Lancashire Hospitals Trust can make this work, and that’s a Big IF, then one could envisage the day when the Trust could say to the CQC that their services are not required. Kevin, Colne
  • Score: 3

7:51pm Tue 20 May 14

noddy57 says...

Its a bit like the blind leading the blind, you would think health care after all these years would have improved enough to avoid all this media attention and simply get its house in order once and for all,growing up in the 60s l dont remember all these complaints that seem to be prevalent more than ever in the 21 st century .
Its a bit like the blind leading the blind, you would think health care after all these years would have improved enough to avoid all this media attention and simply get its house in order once and for all,growing up in the 60s l dont remember all these complaints that seem to be prevalent more than ever in the 21 st century . noddy57
  • Score: 2

10:34pm Tue 20 May 14

Moonblue says...

How many people work for the NHS?
About half of them.
How many people work for the NHS? About half of them. Moonblue
  • Score: -3

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