Health trust keen to appear open to the public

Main entrance sign to Stoke Mandeville Hospital
Main entrance sign to Stoke Mandeville Hospital

Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust has promised to be more transparent and apologised for failing patients in its first public meeting since being placed in special measures.

The trust, which runs Stoke Mandeville Hospital, was slammed in Sir Bruce Keogh’s report which listed a catalogue of concerns including doubts over the management of the trust, low staffing levels, poor morale, a ‘blame culture’ and a lack of empathy over patient complaints.

It was placed with 11 other health trusts in special measures.

Chief executive Anne Eden said: “This needs to be an organised response. We have been meeting weekly and we have agreed to meeting monthly in public and publishing reports on the website.

“We are absolutely determined to learn the lessons and we do apologise where we have got the case or the treatment wrong. We want to work swiftly to get out of special measures so we can provide the best quality of care.”

Ms Eden said the trust was close to linking up with a ‘buddy’ high performing trust to further improve.

The trust has also moved to regularly include in its meetings a patient story which tells first hand of their experience when receiving care.

James Walker, 44, who injured his finger when trying to stop his wife falling off a canal boat, was the latest example. Having left the injury for a few days it swelled up and Mr Walker attended A&E where it was discovered he required an operation.

Mr Walker praised his A&E care, pre-op and post-op care. But he did say how he was unimpressed with the outpatient care at the hand clinic after being given a batch appointment with many other people.

This left him waiting one-and-a-half hour for his appointment. He highlighted how it also made other patients waiting anxious particularly as they worried about receiving a car parking ticket. He also said signage was not clear in some corridors making it difficult to find places.

The trust board said it would upload patient experience stories to the website and put how it had responded to these.

Meanwhile, the Speaking Out Investigation which is dealing with the Jimmy Savile sex scandal at the hospital is nearing the completion of its interview stage. More than 70 people have been interviewed and the report into the scandal at the hospital is being compiled.