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Category Archives: Health centres

MP warns of ‘NHS emergency’ with Birmingham hospitals in danger of running out of beds – Birmingham Mail – 17 December 2014

MP warns of ‘NHS emergency’ with Birmingham hospitals in danger of running out of beds

 

Liam Byrne speaks out as grim new figures show some hospitals at 96 per cent bed capacity

 

A BIRMINGHAM MP has warned the city could run out of hospital beds after a shock investigation showed wards are nearing full capacity.

Former health minister Liam Byrne said health chiefs face an ‘NHS emergency’ after latest grim statistics revealed some hospitals are using 96 per cent of available beds.

Infection control experts advise occupancy rates should not be higher than 85 per cent because of an increased risk of infections if there is not enough time to clean properly between patients.

Most of the seven biggest hospital trusts in the West Midlands have action plans in place to cope with rising demand over the winter, with some opening new temporary wards.

Yet they are still struggling.

But Mr Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill) said: “These shocking figures now prove our hospitals are packed to the rafters. No wonder care standards are under terrible pressure.

“It’s now clear this is an NHS emergency and fresh resources are needed fast. If we have a bad winter there’s a real chance the city could run out of hospital beds – and that will put lives at risk.”

Higher bed capacity figures also mean it is much more difficult for hospitals to cope with sudden “spikes” in admissions, caused by a surge in flu or norovirus infections.

Dr Cliff Mann, president of the College of Emergency medicine, said he was fearful the region was now heading towards a winter crisis. “The signs do not bode well, I cannot see how we can turn this round in a matter of weeks,’’ he said.

“We need more staff and more beds to cope with the pressures winter will bring.”

He said many wards had more patients than beds for much of the day, only falling to less than 100 per cent occupancy when the midnight recordings are taken.

Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, Coun John Cotton, said cuts to social care were also contributing to the problem.

He said: “Despite the mild weather, it’s very clear hospitals in all parts of England are already struggling to cope, so I shudder to think what will happen once winter kicks in.

“Earlier this month Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt admitted pressures on the NHS were ‘higher than they have ever been’ and the demands are sure to increase this winter.

“Government cuts have taken social care support away from older people and made it harder for others to get a GP appointment. That means more people are turning to A&E and hospitals are struggling to deal with the extra pressure.”

Recent figures recorded up to September show that University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), which runs the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Edgbaston, recorded a 96.4 per cent bed capacity.

 

It is believed this figure could rise further as the colder weather kicks in.

In January to March this year, bed capacity was recorded at 98 per cent.

The Queen Elizabeth, dubbed a “super hospital” after it opened a huge new site four years ago, resorted to reopening part of its old building to create a new ward last year. It was a temporary measure but it remains in place and has 170 extra beds.

Birmingham Children’s Hospital is also struggling to cope, with data showing a 93.7 per cent bed capacity in September, with the number rising rapidly this month.

A spokeswoman said: “Our busiest time of year is always the end of November and early December due to this peaking emergency demand for children – so at present our bed occupancy is fluctuating between 90 and 100 per cent.

“We open more beds at this time of year, and we increase the numbers of staff working to support the increased demand.”

Whilst Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust aims to have a capacity level of 93 per cent at midday, they still have two wards of adult beds used by patients who no longer need to be in hospital.

A spokeswoman added: “These delays put pressure on the bed capacity and have doubled in comparison to last year for patients from the Birmingham area, whereas we are seeing significant reductions in these delays of discharge for patients from the Sandwell areas.”

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust has invested in more than 100 extra staff and are currently looking at ways to provide additional support services such as frailty units, increased medical cover for seven day services and care management for elderly patients.

Officials at New Cross Hospital, in Wolverhampton, admitted they are operating at near full capacity on most days but will open 27 additional beds after Christmas.

The Dudley Group NHS Trust, which operates Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, said there were no plans to put additional beds in place to cope with any potential winter crisis. This was despite admitting that it experienced unprecedented pressure on its emergency services and asked patients to think twice before attending in January this year.

Walsall Manor Hospital has introduced 40 new beds within the community to provide a step-down facility for patients who are well enough to leave hospital, but not quite well enough to go home.

It will free up more beds at the hospital for acutely ill patients. A spokeswoman added: “We are also opening a new £4.7 million ward at the Manor Hospital in January 2015 which will give us an additional 30 beds for acutely ill patients.”

 

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/mp-warns-nhs-emergency-birmingham-8296192

 

 

Hospital A&E crisis: Mum and sick child waited SIX HOURS to see doctor at Birmingham Children’s Hospital – Birmingham Mail – 16 December 2014

Dear friends,

 

Please find below more concerning news on our local NHS A&E. I gave a statement to the Birmingham Mail on the story – see below.

 

We have got to get a plan in place to sort out the crisis in our local NHS.

Liam

 

———————————————————————–

 

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/hospital-ae-crisis-mum-sick-8291710

 

Hospital A&E crisis: Mum and sick child waited SIX HOURS to see doctor at Birmingham Children’s Hospital

New figures show six out of seven Trusts missing four hour emergency admissions target

 

Accident and Emergency departments are ‘spiralling’ out of control with six out of the seven major West Midlands hospital trusts failing to hit the Government’s four-hour waiting target.

Latest figures showed Birmingham Children’s Hospital was the worst performer, with just 81 per cent of patients being seen within the time limit during the week ending December 12.

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) followed closely at 86.7 per cent, with Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust recording an A&E waiting time target of 87.2 per cent.

The Government’s national target is 95 per cent of patients being seen within four hours.

Birmingham mum Nora Stevenson, 37, of Bartley Green, told how she waited SIX HOURS for her daughter to be seen at the Children’s Hospital after her daughter Maggie, aged three, began coughing up blood on December 7.

Her mother had called NHS 111 at 5pm and it took two hours for someone to call her back. She was given an appointment at Katie Road Walk-in Centre at 9.50pm where a doctor told her to take the youngster to Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s A&E department.

Nora said: “It was horrendous. I really can’t fault the staff as they were trying their best, but there weren’t enough of them there.

“Children were lying across the chairs because of the time of night and being sick. Parents were getting annoyed and having a go at the receptionist.”

The mum and daughter had arrived at 11pm and Maggie was finally seen by a triage at 1am – but it took another four hours for a doctor to examine her.

Nora, a part-time bank worker, said: “They checked on her every 90 minutes after that until she saw a doctor at 5am. She was discharged 20 minutes later with a minor stomach illness.“We followed all the correct channels but it took a total of 12 hours from when we called 111, to her being seen by a doctor.

“Next time I will go straight to the hospital.”

Other mums have taken to social media to flag up their experiences at the hospital.

Emma Donoghue wrote on Facebook: “My son was admitted with glandular fever and a secondary bacterial infection. There was a six hour wait in A&E although we only waited an hour as he was prioritised as an emergency.

“There was nowhere to sit and at one point I sat on the floor. There was far too many children there that shouldn’t have been there, running around and playing whilst my son slept through all the commotion.”

Yet while Natalie Hodgkins experienced delays, she also praised medics at the hospital and urged more people to use their GPs and walk-in centres.

She added: “My daughter had just been let home after a week and a half in Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The day before we went doctors at our surgery diagnosed a chest infection.

“The next day she had gotten worse and come out in a patch on her arm. It was rammed full of children running around with coughs. The wait time was four hours but we put straight through. She had sepsis. Doctors at the hospital acted very quickly and thanks to them my baby is still with us.

“Definitely people need to use GP and walk in more.”

The Children’s Hospital reported its busiest day EVER on December 1, when medics saw 223 patients in one day. Numbers have been hitting around 205 a day on average, whereas last year’s figure was in the 180s.

Dr Ben Stanhope, a consultant in paediatric in Emergency Medicine, said: “We have seen this problem in the last three to four weeks. There are an unprecedented number of children presenting in our department and we are seeing 20 to 30 more patients a day than we normally would.

“This is a massive increase. And it means that everyone is waiting longer.

“There are a huge number of children coming in with the influenza virus and we know that the national uptake of the vaccine is very poor.

“Many of these children would not be here if they had been given the nasal spray that protects them against the virus. It gives them better coverage than the old style needle.”

MP Liam Byrne (Hodge Hill Lab) said: “These shocking figures show A&E queues are spiralling. Our NHS staff do a great job but they’re being overwhelmed.

“The government’s huge cuts to Birmingham’s social care service mean it’s harder than ever to get older residents home from hospital. That means it’s getting harder to get people in the front door through A&E.”

At HEFT, which runs Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull hospitals, medics are also seeing a rise in admissions for the flu virus. Restrictions are in place at Heartlands because of flu and the winter bug norovirus.

Dr Ola Erinfolami, clinical director of the Emergency Department at Heartlands, said: “As with the rest of the region we are seeing increased attendance at our A&E departments and the addition of patients suffering from flu and norovirus not only exacerbates that situation but also increases the risk of those viruses being spread within the hospital.”

She added the best remedy for patients was to rest at home.

The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Russells Hall Hospital, in Brierley Hill is the only trust to hit the national target, seeing 98.2 per cent of patients in less than four hours.

WHAT THE HOSPITALS SAY: *Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust has a “detailed plan in place” to improve its ability to see people within four hours.

*University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust said it has seen an unprecedented year-on-year in emergency admissions in the last two years.

*The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust said pressures had been building for some months. A spokesman added: “Additional resource via the winter pressures money has been made available, which includes additional doctors, nurses, technicians and porters for example.”

*Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust advised patients to also explore other alternatives than A&E.

*Dudley Group NHS Trust said: “We have a dedicated ‘capacity hub’ that acts as a command centre and is aware of current waits, patient volumes in our Emergency Department, how many patients are being discharged from the wards etc.”

Heart of England hospital trust one of most complained about in UK – Birmingham Mail – 2 December 2014

 

Dear friends,

 

You may have seen my press release on Friday about the concerns that I and local Councillors have around the strain which our local NHS Trust (including Heartlands Hospital) is under.

 

The Birmingham Mail have today published a story about Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust which proves many of the concerns we’ve been hearing in the community recently.

 

Heart of England hospital trust one of most complained about in UK

 

Three serious complaints made to health ombudsman EACH DAY about NHS Trust, watchdog reveals

 

A troubled Birmingham hospital trust has been named and shamed as one of the worst in the country for patient complaints.

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) received 958 complaints to the Health Ombudsman in 2013/14 – almost three a day.

The shocking figures which places the trust as 13th on the league of shame, come just a month after it was revealed that thousands of patients were waiting more than four hours in A&E. Health watchdog Monitor slammed the leadership at HEFT and just a few days later chief executive Mark Newbold resigned.

New data has also showed that in 2013/14 the trust received 404,697 clinical incidents ranking it the fourth busiest out of 440 NHS Trusts and CCGs across the country.

The figures were released earlier this week by Dame Julie Mellor, the health ombudsman.

Hodge Hill MP Liam Byrne (Lab) said: “This fresh evidence proves concerns which have been growing for months. Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is overstretched.

“The staff at hospitals such as Heartlands do brilliant work but mismanaged resources such as our local NHS health centres mean that they are fighting a losing battle.

“More and more people are having to head for the hospital when they should and could be being treated at their local health centres. We need a plan for getting our multi-million pound health centres in Washwood Heath and Hodge Hill fully operational as soon as possible.”

Latest figures show 5,518 patients waited more than the four hour target at Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull hospitals, all run by the Trust, compared to 1,619 in 2009/10 – an increase of 240 per cent.

Action is being taken to improve services and strengthen leadership so patients receive better care. Conditions have been imposed on HEFT’s licence so that Monitor can take further action if it does not perform better.

Waiting times are also said to be too long for routine operations and cancer care patients and there were additional concerns regarding mortality rates.

Heartlands NHS Trust was unavailable for comment.

 

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/health/heart-england-hospital-trust-one-8206925

 

 

News from Liam Byrne MP – Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust receiving high level of complaints as burden on A&E increases – 28 November 2014

 

Dear friends,

 

I wanted to share with you some concerning fresh evidence around the crisis of care standards we’re experiencing in Birmingham. New data shows that Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) was the 13th most complained about NHS body in the country in 2013/14.

 

This fresh evidence proves concerns which have been growing for months. Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is overstretched. The staff at hospitals such as Heartlands do brilliant work but mismanaged resources such as our local NHS Health Centres mean that they are fighting a losing battle. More and more people are having to head for the hospital when they should and could be being treated at their local health centres. We need a plan for getting our multi-million pound health centres in Washwood Heath and Hodge Hill fully operational as soon as possible.

 

You can see the full press release below and some photos of myself and Councillors Ansar Ali Khan and Majid Mahmood on our early morning inspection of Health Centres in Washwood Heath and Hodge Hill.

 

All the best

 

Liam

 

28 November 2014 – News from Liam Byrne MP

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust receiving high level of complaints as burden on A&E increases

 

Fresh evidence released this week shows that Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) was the 13th most complained about NHS body in the country in 2013/14.

 

Data from the Health Ombudsman showed that HEFT had received 958 complaints in 2013/14; the vast majority of these were dealt with effectively at a local level. The data also showed that in 2013/14 HEFT received 404,697 clinical incidents ranking it the 4th busiest for clinical incidents out of 440 NHS Trusts and CCGs across the country.

 

The data was released earlier this week by Dame Julie Mellor, the health ombudsman.

 

Earlier today Liam Byrne MP and local councillors Ansar Ali Khan and Majid Mahmood carried out snap inspections at the under-used NHS health centres in Washwood Heath and Hodge Hill.

 

Liam Byrne said: “This fresh evidence proves concerns which have been growing for months. Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is overstretched. The staff at hospitals such as Heartlands do brilliant work but mismanaged resources such as our local NHS Health Centres mean that they are fighting a losing battle. More and more people are having to head for the hospital when they should and could be being treated at their local health centres. We need a plan for getting our multi-million pound health centres in Washwood Heath and Hodge Hill fully operational as soon as possible.”

 

Notes to editors:

Full data set available here: http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/reports-and-consultations/reports/health/complaints-about-acute-trusts-2013-14-and-q1-and-q2-2014-15

Photos attached:

 

Liam Byrne MP and Cllr Ansar Ali Khan at Washwood Heath Health Centre - 28 November

Liam Byrne MP and Cllr Ansar Ali Khan at Washwood Heath Health Centre – 28 November

 

Liam Byrne MP and Cllr Majid Mahmood at Hodge Hill Health Centre - 28 November
Liam Byrne MP and Cllr Majid Mahmood at Hodge Hill Health Centre – 28 November

 

Press statement from Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust on Intervention of Monitor – 23 October 2014

 

 

Dear friends,
Please find a press statement below from Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust:

 

PRESS STATEMENT – INTERVENTION OF MONITOR

 

The Trust has been working with Monitor, our regulator, over several months  highlighting the plans we have in place to address the increasing demand for our  services.  It has been well publicised that the local health system has experienced a significant upsurge in demand in recent months.  At our Trust  alone we have seen a year on year increase of 13% in emergency admissions and a 10% increase in emergency ambulances arriving at our front door.  The unprecedented demand and consequent overcrowding, particularly in our emergency departments, means that we are not meeting a number of national targets.

 

Our teams and staff are working relentlessly to ensure that we deliver the best care possible.  Our focus and commitment has and will always remain on safe and quality care for our patients.  We have invested in additional nurses and doctors, equipment and facilities and over the next few years will be investing an additional £85 million in buildings to meet the growing demand for our services.

 

We have recently made some new key appointments to strengthen our leadership team; their expertise, both clinical and managerial, will add breadth and depth to our existing, experienced team.  We are also working with our partners in the local health economy to address the challenges of increasing demand, ensuring that people are cared for in the most appropriate setting, including their own home and we work together to improve the health of our local population.

 

Byrne warns local NHS hitting breaking point as social care cuts bite – 23 October 2014

 

 

***Embargoed until 09:30 23 October 2014***

 

Dear all,

 

Byrne warns local NHS hitting breaking point as social care cuts bite

 

Please find below a press release from Liam Byrne MP including House of Commons statistics on severe increases in waiting times in A&E at Birmingham’s Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and a statement on Monitor’s report into the Trust this due for release this morning.

 

 23 October 2014News from Liam Byrne MP

 

Embargoed until 09:30 on 23 October 2014

 

 

Byrne warns local NHS hitting breaking point as social care cuts bite

 

 

A&E waiting times at HEFT increase by 240% since this Tory-led coalition took over

 

 

This morning Monitor is releasing its report into Birmingham’s Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. The report is deeply concerning – highlighting a severe increase in waiting times for A&E, routine operations and cancer care patients, as well as mortality rates.

 

 

In response to the report Liam Byrne MP said:

 

 

‘Residents all over Hodge Hill are telling me pressure on our NHS is hitting breaking point. And this reports shows why.  The government’s huge cuts to Birmingham’s social care means it’s harder than ever to get older residents home from hospital. That means it’s getting harder to get people in the front door through A&E.’

 

 

Notes to editors:

 

1) Figures released by the House of Commons Library (below) show an increase in those waiting over 4 hours in A&E at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. Between Q3 of 2009/10 and Q3 of 2014/15 the number has gone from 1,619 to 5,518; an increase of over 240%.

 

Patients waiting over 4 hours in A&E at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
As at Quarter 3:

Total attendances

Number waiting over 4 hours

% waiting over 4 hours

2009/10

60,064

1,619

2.7%

2010/11

59,654

3,397

5.7%

2011/12

59,599

2,338

3.9%

2012/13

60,836

4,159

6.8%

2013/14

59,933

4,251

7.1%

2014/15

62,444

5,518

8.8%

Sources: 2011/12 -2014/15 NHS England Weekly Sit Rep reports, pre 2011/12 DH Total Time Spent in A&E quarterly data series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) Monitor is the sector regulator of NHS-funded health care services. Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 its main duty is to protect and promote the interests of people who use them.

 

3) Monitor’s press release attached.

 

 

——————————————————————————————

 

 

Monitor Press Release:

 

Under strict embargo until: 09.30am Thursday 23rd October 2014

New action taken at Heart of England to improve services and strengthen leadership

Monitor is taking action to improve services and strengthen the leadership of Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT), so that patients receive better care.

The health sector regulator has imposed a further condition on HEFT’s licence enabling it to take further action if the trust’s leadership does not perform better.

Monitor is acting after HEFT failed to reduce long waiting times for A&E, routine operations and cancer care patients, together with additional concerns regarding mortality rates. The regulator has decided that the range and seriousness of these issues demonstrate a clear failure in leadership and the trust’s organisational systems.

The trust and Monitor have also agreed new legally binding enforcement undertakings aimed at improving these care services on a sustainable basis.

HEFT provides services across the West Midlands at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital, Solihull Hospital and Community Services at the Birmingham Chest Clinic.

Monitor first found HEFT in suspected breach of its licence to provide healthcare in December 2013, after it failed to meet national targets at two of its hospitals, for treating patients in A&E within four hours.

Adam Cayley, Regional Director at Monitor, said:

“We want all patients of this trust to receive quality and timely care, which means all parts of the organisation must operate effectively.

“This action should ensure that the trust’s leadership takes appropriate and swift action to address our concerns around how it is led and run.

“We will continue to monitor the trust rigorously and take further regulatory action if we consider it necessary.”

Ends

Notes to editors

  • For further information please contact, Nick Burke Media Relations Manager, on Nicholas.burke@monitor.gov.uk or 020 3747 0800.
  • Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) was authorised as an foundation trust on 1 April 2005.
  • Details on Monitor’s previous regulatory action at HEFT can be found here.
  • Monitor is the sector regulator of NHS-funded health care services. Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 its main duty is to protect and promote the interests of people who use them.
  • Information about Monitor’s role can be found here.
  • Follow Monitor on twitter @MonitorUpdate

 

 

Letter to Jeremy Hunt re. Health Centres in Hodge Hill

Today, I attended a high-level meeting with   Cllr John Cotton, the Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board for the city of Birmingham to discuss the complete lack of progress in operationalising health centres. Not a single NHS official  turned out.
This is the letter I sent to Jeremy Hunt following the meeting:

 

Dear Jeremy

Health Centres in Hodge Hill

Can I express my deep frustration with NHS officials who simply failed to attend a high-level meeting with both myself and Cllr John Cotton, the Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board for the city of Birmingham to discuss the complete lack of progress in operationalising health centres – on Clodeshall Road and on the Firs estate – in my constituency.

As you know two health centres were built at the cost of over £20 million – and despite my work to consistently convene your officials at 3-6 month intervals over the last FOUR YEARS, almost no progress has been made maximising their use. Four years on, I am told they are running at around 30% utilisation. In a constituency with some of the worst health outcomes in Britain, and with the second busiest A+E department in Britain at Heartlands, this is simply not acceptable.

A summit convened by me and BCC earlier this year agreed an action plan, on which NHS officials have made no progress – and at today’s agreed meeting, they simply failed to turn up to discuss next steps, despite representation at the meeting from Heart of Birmingham Trust, BCC’s Social Care Director and the head of BCC’s health and well-being division.

This cannot go on.

Can I ask therefore;

1. For your urgent review of this matter and an apology from NHS England

2. A plan for maximising the utilisation of these centres

3. A timetable for securing maximum utilisation.

Given NHS England’s complete failure to deliver services at these centres, can I propose that they are either handed over the Heart of Birmingham Trust, or a community organisation, to maximise their use.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours ever

Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP

 

Chief Inspector of Hospitals publishes his findings on the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust

This week I have received a copy of the CQC’s report on the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. You can access a pdf copy of the report on the link below and the CQC’s press release is detailed further below:

 

Heart of England report

 

Press release

EMBAROGED UNTIL: 00.01 Tuesday 14 January 2014

Chief Inspector of Hospitals publishes his findings on the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust  

 

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has published his first report on the quality of care provided by the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust in the West Midlands.

 

The trust was inspected under radical changes introduced by the Care Quality Commission, which provide a much more detailed picture of care in hospitals than ever before.

 

As well as good care, during its inspection CQC uncovered a number of concerns and areas for improvement at the trust’s Good Hope Hospital in relation to how its services are assessed and monitored. These have prompted the regulator to issue a warning notice to the trust demanding that improvements in this area are made by 21 February 2014.

 

What inspectors found:

 

Overall, the report concludes that the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is generally providing patients with safe and effective care. For example, patients and their relatives said that staff were caring and kind and this was observed by the inspection team.

 

The inspection team found areas of good practice, which included:

 

  • The system to highlight patients who are medically fit for discharge promotes multidisciplinary working to discharge patients effectively.
  • The work carried out by the end of life care team in ensuring relatives were involved and continued to feel cared for after the death of their loved one.
  • The support of the critical care outreach team to other hospital staff while patients were waiting for a critical care bed.

 

However, there were a number of areas for improvement that CQC found, including a shortage of midwives and concerns regarding staffing in surgical care and wards caring for older people.

 

Also, there were concerns with how patients were treated once they had been triaged (the process of assessing and prioritising people’s injuries and illnesses) at reception in the A&E department. Once the initial triage was undertaken on arrival, patients were not being assessed by a healthcare professional within the recommended 15 minute timeframe.

 

Furthermore, CQC’s inspectors observed that all A&E cubicles at Good Hope Hospital were occupied and some patients had to wait on trolleys in the corridor. On reviewing the care records of two patients, it was clear that they had not been assessed or received any physiological checks while they were waiting.

 

Also, inspectors witnessed two patients calling out for help in a distressed manner who were ignored by nearby staff as they were busy with other tasks.

 

The national guidance for clinical practice states that staff should check the emergency equipment daily to ensure it is ready in the event of an emergency. However, CQC found that these checks were not taking place, both in the A&E department and on a nearby ward.

 

In response, CQC has told the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust that it must take action to improve in the following areas:

 

  • The care provided in the A&E departments, particularly around the timing and type of initial assessment.
  • Clarification with regard to services provided by the A&E department at Solihull.
  • Ensuring patients are cared for on appropriate wards and clinical areas.
  • In the reduction of the use of agency and bank staff through continued recruitment of permanent staff.
  • Documentation relating to patient care.
  • Clarification with regard to services provided in the Critical Care Unit at Solihull and whether staff are appropriately trained to look after those patients who could be admitted to the unit.

 

CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “Whenever we inspect we will always ask the following five questions of every service: Is it safe? Is it effective? Is it caring? Is it responsive to people’s needs? Is it well-led?

 

“While most services were delivered safely at the trust, the safety of patients in all the A&E sites, the acute medical unit at Good Hope Hospital and the Critical Care Unit at Solihull must be improved. We were concerned about staffing levels in some parts of the trust. However, the trust had an active recruitment programme and could demonstrate that significant numbers of staff were due to start work in early 2014.

 

“The trust appeared to have well trained staff but there were concerns surrounding the services at Good Hope Hospital and Solihull A&E and Critical Care Unit. Most people described their care as good, telling inspectors that staff were caring, despite being busy.”

 

CQC’s Head of Hospital Inspection, Fiona Allinson said: “The concerns CQC found were unacceptable and we have warned the trust it must improve. CQC will continue to monitor the service closely and our inspectors will be returning unannounced to check on whether improvements have been made and standards are being met.”

 

CQC spent four days at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, including Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield, Heartlands Hospital, and Solihull Hospital in November. The inspection team included doctors, nurses, hospital managers, trained members of the public, CQC inspectors and analysts. They examined the care provided in accident and emergency, medical care (including older people’s care), surgery, intensive/critical care, maternity, children’s care, end of life care and outpatients.

 

The reports, which CQC has published today (Tuesday 14 January), are based on a combination of their findings, information from CQC’s Intelligent Monitoring system, and information provided by patients, the public and other organisations.

 

The full reports are available at: http://www.cqc.org.uk/directory/rr1

CQC will return to the trust at a later date to follow up the findings of this inspection and to report on the trust’s progress in making the required improvements.

Ends

For media enquiries, call Louise Grifferty, regional communications manager, on 07717 422917, or Helen Gildersleeve, regional communications officer, on 0191 233 3379.

The CQC press office can also be reached on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out of hours on 07917 232 143.  

For general enquiries, call 03000 61 61 61.

Notes to editors

 

  1. CQC has presented its findings to a local Quality Summit, including NHS commissioners, providers, regulators and other public bodies. The purpose of the Quality Summit was to develop a plan of action and recommendations based on the inspection team’s findings.
  2. The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, is leading significantly larger inspection teams than before, headed up by clinical and other experts including trained members of the public. Sir Mike is implementing his new approach to hospital inspection with 18 NHS trusts across England, which represent variation of care. By the end of 2015, CQC will have inspected all acute NHS Trusts in the country with its new inspection model.

About the Care Quality Commission

 

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive care, and we encourage care services to improve. We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.

 

Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Here are details of Birmingham Council’s planning consultation on Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Birmingham Council is interested in your comments on the application, preferably before 22 December 2013.

 

Follow the link for more information and to find out how make comments:

Birmingham Council’s planning consultation on Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Sort out our health centres

The huge new health centres on Clodeshall Road in Washwood Heath and on the Bromford and Firs were amongst our biggest achievements in Hodge Hill.

But now the new government is in power, and their new “Clinical Commissioning Groups” started work in the city on 1st April . Now we’ve learned there are SIX different parts of the NHS responsible for our health centres. What a mess!

Cllr Tim Evans and I sat down with the new NHS team a couple of weeks ago to plot a way forward. The NHS has agreed we’ve got to simplify things – and come up with a real vision for the future. So I’ll be helping to lead a delegation to Bromley by Bow in London to look around the greatest health hub in Britain to steal a few ideas!

Progress at last!

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Liam Byrne MP’s twitter

Follow @LiamByrneMP on twitter.

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