Lancashire TelegraphEast Lancashire hospitals lifted out of 'special measures' (From Lancashire Telegraph)

When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.

East Lancashire hospitals lifted out of 'special measures'

Lancashire Telegraph: Royal Blackburn Hospital Royal Blackburn Hospital

NHS chiefs have agreed to lift the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General hospitals out of special measures after a major inspection found ‘significant improvements’ had been made in the last year.

The report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) noted several key achievements since the appointment of Jim Birrell as interim chief exectuive in January, but stressed that a number of areas still carry serious concerns.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT), which runs both hospitals, was given an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’, which is the trust’s first rating under the regulator’s beefed up inspection regime.

It was previously described as ‘high risk’ by the watchdog - and some areas of its service have come in for heavy criticism in the past few years.

MPs and health campaigners have spoken of their ‘huge relief’ at the report’s findings, while staff who were left ‘devastated’ when the trust was placed in special measures, said the damning reports published last year had been a ‘blessing in disguise’.

One of the most important findings relates to the change in culture at the trust, which has gone from a ‘defensive’ organisation that ‘lacked compassion’, to one that now takes a more ‘open and honest approach’, with a leadership team that is more visible and approachable.

The CQC also recognised the efforts made to recruit about 300 new nurses and healthcare assistants, and to improve the flow of patients through the emergency department.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the chief inspector, said: “It is clear that East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has worked hard to improve since being placed in special measures last year.

"The trust has made real progress to meet the requirements of the Keogh Review, with the way that it is led changing significantly.

“Staff told us the culture of the trust was changing and this was backed up by what we saw, an engaged workforce who were increasingly proud of where they worked.”

However, he said the trust still needed to make improvements in several areas, as changes have not become embedded right across the trust.

A major concern was raised around the procedures followed by surgical staff, after it was found that equipment checks were not always being carried out properly, resulting in incidents in which items had been left inside patients. One of these incidents was highlighted by the Lancashire Telegraph on Monday.

He also raised concern about the number of senior positions that are only filled on an interim basis, and noted the large backlog of complaints that still needs to be dealt with.

There were also shortcomings identified in medicines management and the use of risk registers, which are crucial documents to highlight areas where potential problems could arise.

Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “This will be a huge relief to patients and staff and it’s a tribute to the way in which the trust has gone about its work. But as the CQC make clear, it’s very important that they don’t step off the gas now and continue to make the required changes.

“It’s a human institution and mistakes will always be made, even at the very best trusts. But it’s important to keep them to a minimum and make sure they’re investigated in an open and honest way, so that lessons can be learned.”

He praised Mr Birrell and trust chairman Professor Eileen Fairhurst for driving through the changes and added: “There had to be new leadership where an institution was failing in a way the trust was.”

The report follows a three-day inspection at the end of April, which was followed by an unannounced visit to Blackburn’s emergency department on May 6.

The 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. Former chief executive Mark Brearley quit in December, citing personal reasons.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “I’m encouraged by what the chief inspector has said and pleased to see that progress is being made in some key areas.

“However several concerns remain and I will continue to work with the trust to ensure they are delivering the high standards patients expect.”

The NHS Trust Development Agency, which has been overseeing the changes at the trust, said it will continue to provide support to the trust, despite the special measures regime being lifted.

Mr Birrell, who is set to leave the trust later this year to be replaced by a permanent chief executive, said: “I am delighted at the outcome and very pleased for our hard working and dedicated staff, who were devastated by the findings and criticisms of Keogh.

“We can now draw a line in the sand and look to move forward with the quality and clinical strategies that will enable us to provide the best possible safe, personal and effective care for our patients.

“The inspectors reported that they were particularly impressed by the staff, many of whom participated in the process.

“The vast majority spoke of the improvement they had experienced in the culture of the organisation.

“Staff felt proud to work in the trust and said that they would now recommend it as a place to work. Inspectors found that staff were kind and caring and patients were generally positive about their experience.”

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:23am Wed 9 Jul 14

Biscay says...

Incredible!
Incredible! Biscay
  • Score: 11

6:25am Wed 9 Jul 14

shytalk says...

Biscay wrote:
Incredible!
Corruption
[quote][p][bold]Biscay[/bold] wrote: Incredible![/p][/quote]Corruption shytalk
  • Score: 4

8:01am Wed 9 Jul 14

shimmy says...

Very helpful comments by both Jack Straw and Andrew Stephenson who seem keen to work with the Trust supporting their efforts to improve. The appointment of Dr. Ian Stanley seems to coincide with the new open management style, a welcome development.
Very helpful comments by both Jack Straw and Andrew Stephenson who seem keen to work with the Trust supporting their efforts to improve. The appointment of Dr. Ian Stanley seems to coincide with the new open management style, a welcome development. shimmy
  • Score: -2

8:22am Wed 9 Jul 14

kateash says...

Whitewash!! Staff I speak to are still sick of the Trust. If concerns still remain the trust should stay in special measures until these concerns are addressed! Many staff still can't wait to leave!
Whitewash!! Staff I speak to are still sick of the Trust. If concerns still remain the trust should stay in special measures until these concerns are addressed! Many staff still can't wait to leave! kateash
  • Score: 9

8:34am Wed 9 Jul 14

ConcernedOssy says...

shytalk wrote:
Biscay wrote:
Incredible!
Corruption
Still out of touch with the realities, Usual political & management bulls**t !!! Straw keen to work now there's a novelty.
[quote][p][bold]shytalk[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Biscay[/bold] wrote: Incredible![/p][/quote]Corruption[/p][/quote]Still out of touch with the realities, Usual political & management bulls**t !!! Straw keen to work now there's a novelty. ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 6

9:29am Wed 9 Jul 14

mavrick says...

Any improvement is welcome and it will take time to turn it around. I think Jim Birrel has done a good job, I think it is a bit too soon to bring the trust out of special measures., I hope the people who caused this mess are all called to account. But we need to recruit and retain the best clinicians in the country like we used to have. we need nurses that are properly trained with the time allowedd for this training, above all we need support from the public and a return to the respect a hospital deserves. No more loud mouthed drunks. no more attacks on the staff although some staff's attitudes do inflame situations. but we could well be heading the right way. all we have to do now is find £30 Million in savings and the Tories will shout it from the rooftops before selling it to their American mates.
Any improvement is welcome and it will take time to turn it around. I think Jim Birrel has done a good job, I think it is a bit too soon to bring the trust out of special measures., I hope the people who caused this mess are all called to account. But we need to recruit and retain the best clinicians in the country like we used to have. we need nurses that are properly trained with the time allowedd for this training, above all we need support from the public and a return to the respect a hospital deserves. No more loud mouthed drunks. no more attacks on the staff although some staff's attitudes do inflame situations. but we could well be heading the right way. all we have to do now is find £30 Million in savings and the Tories will shout it from the rooftops before selling it to their American mates. mavrick
  • Score: 0

10:35am Wed 9 Jul 14

info@healthwatchblackburnwithdarwen.co.uk says...

This is good news, but there are still improvements that need to be made. We have released a statement regarding Healthwatch BwD’s approach to the news: http://www.healthwat
chblackburnwithdarwe
n.co.uk/news
This is good news, but there are still improvements that need to be made. We have released a statement regarding Healthwatch BwD’s approach to the news: http://www.healthwat chblackburnwithdarwe n.co.uk/news info@healthwatchblackburnwithdarwen.co.uk
  • Score: 7

12:53pm Wed 9 Jul 14

POW WOW says...

Whoever authorised the special measures constraint to be lifted should face the sack. The local coroner Mr Singleton still has a mountain of pending cases to resolve with East Lancashire Hospitals NHS trust.
Whoever authorised the special measures constraint to be lifted should face the sack. The local coroner Mr Singleton still has a mountain of pending cases to resolve with East Lancashire Hospitals NHS trust. POW WOW
  • Score: 6

2:27pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Mikeee47 says...

I don't believe it, after the recent press too,
Oh what happened to the report in November that Patient neglect was to become a Criminal offence?
Is this another BROKEN PROMISE from the MPs who SERVE US?
I don't believe it, after the recent press too, Oh what happened to the report in November that Patient neglect was to become a Criminal offence? Is this another BROKEN PROMISE from the MPs who SERVE US? Mikeee47
  • Score: 5
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree