Hospitals In Norfolk And Suffolk Named On 'High Risk' List

The Ipswich and Queen Elizabeth hospital are on a list of Trusts the inspectors are worried about.

The CQC looked at 161 NHS trusts and a quarter came back as high risk and may not be offering safe, good-quality care to patients according to a new report.

That includes the Queen Elizabeth in King's Lynn and Ipswich hospitals.

Analysis by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulator found 44 trusts with the most serious level of concern, including higher than expected death rates across their hospitals.

Some trusts were flagged for incidents resulting in harm to patients while others scored low on staff or patient satisfaction.

Several came to attention due to whistleblowing staff while others had a higher than expected death rate among patients who should be low risk.

A total of 161 acute trusts across England were examined by the CQC against more than 150 indicators.  The James Paget, Norfolk and Norwich and West Suffolk were among the 161 hospitals looked at and came further down the list.

The report is going act as a screening tool to identify which trusts need the most rapid CQC inspections and where inspectors need to focus their attention.

All 161 trusts were divided into six bands, with band 1 being the highest risk and band 6 the lowest.

There were 44 trusts in the two bands with the highest risk, with 24 trusts in the highest possible band 1 including the Queen Elizabeth.

The Ipswich Hospital was in Band 2, they've told Heart:

"Delivering high quality, safe, compassionate care is our overriding priority. We welcome the new inspection regime of the Care Quality Commission and look forward to working with them in the future. There are no clinical risks highlighted in the intelligence report about our hospital in the report published today. The risks identified in this report relate to staff feedback, improving patient and staff experience and more support for doctors in training which we are already addressing."

The Norfolk and Norwich came further down the list in Band 3:

Chief Executive Anna Dugdale said: "We have just received the NNUH report, risk rating information and the accompanying guidance note.  Our categorisation in Band 3 is disappointing and we do not believe it is reflective of the quality of care our patients can expect from the NNUH.   We are puzzled by the inclusion of the elevated risk for chronic renal failure mortality as the CQC have previously accepted that this is not a mortality issue, but actually a recording issue in connection with method of admission.

"Our staff have worked very closely with the ambulance teams bringing patients to our accident and emergency department to reduce all handover delays and significant improvement has been achieved in those patients delayed over 60 minutes since April.  

"The whistleblowing metric has come as a surprise we are currently requesting further information as we are not aware of any whistleblowing issues.  The Trust actively encourages staff to speak up if they have any concerns about clinical care and we have recently joined the Nursing Times' Speak Out Safely  campaign to encourage staff further.

"Regarding the two lower amber risks:  Never events between July and September 13 - we had three as previously reported (unusually high for NNUH).  Regarding PROMS (Patient Reported Outcome Measures) for hip replacements, this is a post-operative survey of patients to assess whether the outcome met their expectation.  This can be a tricky measure and may reflect patient interpretation of discussions on the potential outcome."

The James Paget Hospital also on list but considered a lower risk:

The Chief Executive James Paget Hospital Christine Allen have told Heart: "Overall, the report provides a useful overview for the Trust. Band 4 places the hospital in the lower risk categories and the mortality data is an indication of expected clinical outcomes at the James Paget. The report is important as it forms part of the data we use to benchmark the quality and efficiency of the care we provide. We are pleased to see that we do well in most areas, but we continue to focus on areas requiring further improvement."

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