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Bucks health trust wins praise for progress after damning Keogh Review
A HEALTH Trust placed in special measures after a damning report in the Keogh Review has won praise for the progress it has made in improving its standards.
Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust came in for heavy criticism in a number of areas in the review, including staffing levels, weekend cover by doctors, confusion over urgent care pathways, and inadequate communication and signage for patients.
The Trust was one of 11 which was been placed in special measures in July, following the outcome of the review. It was among 14 Trusts selected for the review, which was overseen by Sir Bruce Keogh, on the basis of mortality rate figures.
Bucks’ mortality rates have already seen improvement since the review was published.
Nigel Acheson, Medical Director for NHS England in the South, who led the Keogh review of the Trust, said: “The Trust has clearly demonstrated that it has worked hard to address the concerns raised by the review and introduced a number of specific initiatives to improve the quality of the service provided to their local patients.”
At a follow-up meeting last week held with representatives from NHS England, Trust Development Authority, Care Quality Commission and local Clinical Commissioning Groups, staff from Buckinghamshire Healthcare detailed a number of initiatives and developments now in place to help improve care and patients’ experience.
• Additional doctors working at the weekend in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, ensuring a daily review by a senior clinician of every emergency patient admitted over the weekend
• Recruiting almost 70 nurses to fill vacancies on wards, with plans to recruit even more doctors and nurses over the coming weeks and months
• Establishing a dedicated phoneline for healthcare professionals in community services to access GP support more quickly out-of-hours
• Opening a new Acute Medical Unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, seeing patients referred by their GP for urgent care or transferred from Wycombe Hospital. The unit should enable these patients to bypass the A&E front-door, reducing their wait and hopefully improving their experience, as well as freeing-up capacity in the main A&E department
• Installing new ‘dashboards’ outside every ward so patients and visitors can easily see how well it is performing in key areas such as infection control, falls and the patient experience.
At the meeting the Trust also provided details about the ‘Big Conversation’ it is having with local patients, actively listening and engaging them to share their views and ideas on how it can continue to improve the patient experience.
Participants at the summit agreed that significant progress had been made since the Keogh review team had visited the Trust, with all areas of concern being addressed.
Anne Eden, Chief Executive of Buckinghamshire Healthcare, said: “We have taken the recommendations made through the Keogh review very seriously and I’m really pleased that we have been able to demonstrate some clear and measurable improvements that we have made over the past few months.
"Staff across our services have embraced the changes required and seen this as a real opportunity to listen, learn and improve. We are on a journey of continuous improvement and I know there is more we need to do to ensure that each and every patient is treated safely and with compassion.”
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