BUPA: Stoke Mandeville Hospital is not good enough for our private patients

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Major private health firm BUPA has dropped Stoke Mandeville Hospital from its approved list in the wake of a damning Care Quality Commission report.

The Government agency demanded the hospital improve its staffing levels and training as they are having a negative impact on patient welfare following an inspection earlier this year.

The commission said improvements were needed before the end of June with inspectors saying they discovered nursing staff were under pressure to meet people’s needs on some wards.

BUPA said it is removing the hospital and Amersham, both of which are part of Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust, in a move which will cost the trust a substantial amount of income.

It means that new private patients will not be referred by BUPA to Stoke Mandeville Hospital, although the firm said existing patients can continue treatment there.

Trust chief executive Ann Eden said: “We’re disappointed by BUPA’s decision to remove Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Amersham Hospital following a CQC report issued last month which inspected a number of trusts.

“The trust would like to stress that inspectors found our hospitals to be compliant in all key care standards and raised no concerns regarding patient safety or quality of care at any of our sites.

“Some recommendations were made by the CQC around staffing levels and supervision in a number of key areas across the trust and we are already making improvements in these areas.”

The trust did meet three standards in care and welfare of people, safety and suitability of equipment, and co-operation with other providers.

The commission has said it will return for an unannounced inspection at hospital to see whether standards have improved.

It marks another low for the trust after it was named as one of nine being investigated for higher than average mortality rates in the Keogh review and last year’s Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.

Bucks Disability Service, which recently sent a dossier to the commission detailing staff and patient concerns, questioned whether a change of leadership is needed.

Charity chairman Andrew Clark said: “It’s very worrying for people of Aylesbury. Everyone wants Stoke Mandeville to be an extremely good hospital.

“There’s a time in all big institutions when a change is a good thing. A fresh pair of eyes may be needed to tackle this.”