Failing NHS services in three areas of the country are to be subject to new “whole systems intervention” by NHS regulators.
Service providers in Essex, North Cumbria and North East and West Devon will now see NHS England, Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority draw up radical plans to overhaul the way in which they deliver care. Hospitals in these areas have had long standing problems but have not made any improvements.
The approach is novel in that the Success Regime will be applied to GP services and hospitals across whole geographical areas. Up until now, failing hospital trusts have been place in Special Measures individually. This is the first time that multiple trusts have been taken over in such away. It is understood that the scheme may be extended to other areas including Staffordshire and Kent.
Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust serves 380,000 people in Chelmsford, Maldon and Braintree. The Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford was found to be “Inadequate” following a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission.
The inspection report highlighted some serious causes for concern and some extraordinary failings in patient safety including:
- Significant staff shortages
- Unregistered agency staff passing themselves off as registered nurses
- Inadequate facilities for patients with mental health issues
- Breaches in cleanliness, infection control and hygiene
- Patients being discharged without being properly assessed
- 5 serious incidents on the labour ward
- 28 serious incidents relating to pressure sores in elderly patients
- Confidential patient records being stored on trolleys in corridors
- Delays in administering medication
- Medicines and intravenous fluids being stored insecurely
In one striking incident, a child with suspected sepsis was left to wait in A & E for 45 minutes. The CQC’s inspectors had to bring the fact that the child’s condition had deteriorated to the attention of nursing staff.
In addition, a long list of never ever events has been reported. These are serious incidents which are wholly preventable. Patients found that surgeons had operated on the wrong ear, the wrong part of the scalp and even the wrong hip.
It remains to be seen whether the new success regime will result in better patient care and raising standards and safety where previous efforts have failed.
The medical negligence team at Hodge Jones & Allen already acts for a number of clients who are pursuing claims against the Broomfield Hospital, and are available to provide advice in relation to any concerns relating to medical treatment provided there.