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East Lancashire hospitals criticised over accountability
THE Royal Blackburn and Burnley General hospitals are among the worst in England for ‘open and honest reporting’ about mistakes, according to a new NHS website.
The website has been launched as part of the Department of Health and NHS England’s drive to improve patient safety, and gives patients an overall gauge of how well their local hospitals are perfor-ming.
East Lancashire Hosp-itals NHS Trust (ELHT), which runs both hospitals, was also found to be among the worst for the pro-portion of staff who would recommend the service, with just 51 per cent, and for failing to meet standards assessed by the Care Quality Commission.
These are issues that have been documented by the Lancashire Telegraph in the last 18 months, in which time the trust has been placed in special measures, and following a detailed improvement plan with oversight from officials in London.
There have also been a number of boardroom changes in recent months, with new chairman Pro-fessor Eileen Fairhurst stressing the need for staff to become more open and transparent.
In February, the trust signed up to support the Nursing Times’ ‘Speak Out Safely’ campaign, to act-ively encourage staff to raise the alarm and protecting them when doing so, but there is clearly still work to do.
The patient safety section of the website said the trust was shown to be performing well in terms of assessing patients for blood clots, while the Royal Blackburn was ‘among the best’ for infection control and cleanliness. Detailed breakdowns of the scores were not included.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said patients ‘have a right to know’ if a hospital has a problem with its reporting culture, and the website will encourage hospitals to take more speedy action.
The website guidance said of the ‘open and honest reporting’ measure: “A good reporting culture in an organisation means that the organisation rep-orts patient safety incid-ents frequently, reports the more serious incidents that occur but also reports many incidents involving low and no harm to pat-ients, because its staff understands that by rep-orting even these less ser-ious incidents, the organisation can learn.”
East Lancashire Hosp-itals NHS Trust was unavailable for comment yesterday. To view the scores see: www.nhs.uk/ safety
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