‘Improvements in quality of care’ at King’s Lynn hospital

Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn, CQC Press Briefing.'Dorothy Hosein (QEH Chief Executive), within the A&E department at QEH ANL-150730-114423009

Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn, CQC Press Briefing.'Dorothy Hosein (QEH Chief Executive), within the A&E department at QEH ANL-150730-114423009

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Chief executive Dorothy Hosein

The Care Quality Commission has outlined a series of changes at the Gayton Road hospital, which is still rated as requires improvement, after an inspection in June.

Regulator Monitor has been urged to lift the special measures after CQC inspectors found a dramatic improvement in services.

The children’s waiting area in A&E, midwifery staff’s commitment and relatives praising the “well organised and effective” paediatric team were among the outstanding areas highlighted by inspectors.

But the hospital has also been advised to make a number of improvements including the secure storage of medicines and ensuring staffing is in line with national guidelines with examples in midwifery and children’s nurses.

Chief executive Dorothy Hosein said work is already underway to tackle the weaknesses.

She said: “This is a momentous day. Being in special measures has caused difficulty in recruitment, staff morale and how people generally feel but this has provided confidence in the organisation.

“What we have demonstrated to the CQC that we have insight into our organisation and insight into our strengths and weaknesses.

“We have had a milestone to come out of special measures but we are aiming to be an organisation that delivers excellent care.”

The hospital was placed in special measures in October 2013 following concerns about patient care and nursing levels. It did not comply with 12 of the 16 CQC requirements.

Now of the five inspection categories, the trust has received three goods in providing effective, caring and well led services.

But it has been rated as requiring improvement in the safe and responsive services categories.

Mrs Hosein said the areas for improvement are maternity and end of life services.

But a new midwife maternity unit is being planned for later in the year. Recruitment campaigns for nurses have also been run in Portugal, Spain and India.

If Monitor accepts the recommendation, the QEH will be the eighth trust to be taken out of special measures since July 2013.

The CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals Prof Sir Mike Richards said: “There is good communication throughout the organisation and the morale and culture of the organisation has improved.

“This has, I have no doubt, led to improvements in the quality of care as we found staff were kind, caring and compassionate towards patients.

“There is still further work to do, particularly in bringing maternity services up to the same standards.

“I hope the trust continues the momentum so that all services are providing the level of care which the people who live in Lynn deserve.”