December 11 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Bosses at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn have today revealed an action plan for how it intends to make urgent improvements following a damning inspection.
A series of measures, such as locking medicine cupboards and targeting accident and emergency (A&E) recruitment are outlined in the report, which will be sent to MPs and government inspectors.
The move comes as two MPs wrote to health secretary Jeremy Hunt demanding a meeting to raise their concerns about the recent findings of the Care Quality Commission (CQC). In the letter, South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss (pictured right) and North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham highlighted how inspectors had found that action was needed in nine areas following a visit over three days in May, which included obtaining people’s consent to care and respecting patients’ privacy, dignity and independence.
It said: “As we are sure you will agree, this creates an alarming impression about the state of this hospital and we would be very grateful of an urgent meeting to seek action on this.”
However, the hospital’s plan, also due to be sent to the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), a body of GPs responsible for planning the area’s health services, outlines how locks will be put on all cupboards containing intravenous fluids after concerns were raised about medicines being stored unsafely.
It also includes a plan to deal with staffing issues, which the QEH said was one of its underlying problems, with targeted recruitment to A&E - which was itself criticised after failing to meet waiting time targets for three quarters in a row.
In a summary entitled “Ministerial Briefing”, the QEH said: “The trust is taking a range of actions to improve flow through the A&E unit to reduce demand and to therefore address capacity constraints that may lead to difficulties for staff in maintaining patients’ privacy and dignity while carrying out procedures.”