December 6 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
A hospital which was criticised for problems in its Accident and Emergency department in a damning government inspection has been told it will get £3.9m to help sort them out.
The Department of Health confirmed the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King’s Lynn will share a £250m pot being distributed nationwide to help tackle increasing pressures on A&E services.
The hospital had made increasing the amount of space in A&E for more assessment and treatment facilities a central part of its action plan after it was heavily criticised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for providing care that “was not always effective” across the hospital.
The woes were compounded when independent regulator Monitor said it would intervene after the QEH failed to meet its A&E waiting time target for three quarters in a row.
However, health secretary Jeremy Hunt said he hoped the cash would not only help hospitals get through a tough winter but alleviate a “serious, long-term problem which needs fundamental changes to equip our A&Es for the future”.
David Stonehouse, director of resources at the QEH, said the money, which came about as a result of a joint bid between the hospital trust and the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group, was “both timely and extremely welcome”.
He added: “It is a reflection of our urgent need to tackle pressure on hospital inpatient services – particularly during winter.”
The hospital’s aim now is to redesign the layout of A&E to create additional treatment areas, which would also allow it to provide an ambulance transfer area to support improved handover times.
Money will also go to community-linked services, helping to create additional home-based nursing care.
It will also help with the recruitment and deployment of additional senior staff.
Darren Barber, joint staff committee chairman at the QEH, said: “We’re glad to see the government has now admitted that investment has got to be made.”
But he also said: “If they had done this two years ago, the hospital wouldn’t be in the position it is now.”