Hospital working towards coming out of special measures
- Credit: IAN BURT
A hospital says it has taken great strides in its efforts to emerge from special measures, despite the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn says it has reduced nursing vacancies to a record low, improved end-of-life care and rolled out digitisation.
Its annual report, published yesterday, says it has achieved financial targets and invested £17m on improvements.
In their foreword, chair Professor Steve Barnett and chief executive Caroline Shaw say: “Our relentless focus across the trust is on improvements required of us from our 2019 Care Quality Commission (CQC) report.
“Remaining in ‘special measures’ and with a rating of ‘inadequate’ we have very clear quality improvement plans and a high-calibre, experienced trust board now in place to take us forward.
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“Notwithstanding our challenges and the work still to do, we have come a long way, with demonstrable progress in many areas.
“Over the past year and more recently through our response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen the determination and commitment from team QEH to consistently deliver safe and compassionate care for our patients.”
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A lack of nurses on some wards was one of the health watchdog CQC’s concerns prior to rating the hospital inadequate. Vacancy rates have fallen from 15pc in June 2019 to 5pc - one of the lowest in the country.
The annual report says the 400-bed hospital was “transformed” as Covid-19 swept across the country.
“The response from staff was incredible and the support we received from our local community was equally amazing,” it adds. “And from local businesses, organisations and individuals in the local community, we received thousands of donations, from ready-made meals to simple one-off gifts and messages of support and gratitude.”
The 2019/20 report also highlights:
• 70,381 patients attended the emergency department (1,708 more than 2018/19)
• The hospital treated 49,642 elective and non-elective inpatients (8,562 more than 2018/19)
• There were 1,313 day case procedures (1,307 more than 2018/19)
• 2,004 babies were born at the hospital.