NHS boss happy with progress at Bucks health trust

View - Main entrance sign to Stoke Mandeville Hospital
View - Main entrance sign to Stoke Mandeville Hospital

The trust which runs Stoke Mandeville Hospital has been praised by a senior NHS boss for the progress made since it was put into special measures.

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust was put into special measures following the damning Keogh report earlier this year.

But now Nigel Acheson, medical director for NHS England in the South, who led the Keogh review of the trust, has said ‘real progress’ has been made since then.

He added: “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.”

The trust outlined the steps it has taken at a health summit with representatives from NHS England, Trust Development Authority, Care Quality Commission and local clinical commissioning groups.

They include:

> 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 enables these patients to bypass the A&E front-door, reducing their wait and 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.

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.”