GPs have ‘lost confidence’ in Norfolk hospital’s leadership

GPs have 'lost confidence' in the leadership of a Norfolk hospital, according to an MP who has called for resignations amid fears it is heading towards a failed third inspection.

Three Norfolk and Suffolk MPs raised the issue of failing standards of care at the James Paget University Hospital in a parliamentary debate on NHS care of older people this afternoon.

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey used the debate to call for a shake-up of management at the under-fire Gorleston hospital, and read from a 'whistleblowing' letter she had been sent by GPs in Great Yarmouth and Waveney, in which they pleaded for intervention before 'we have another Mid Staffs on our hands'.

In her speech in Westminster Hall, Dr Coffey compared the reactions of Ipswich Hospital and the James Paget after each received an initial critical report earlier this year by the Care Quality Commission as part of its dignity and nutrition for older people inspection programme.

She said the leadership of Ipswich Hospital had recognised and accepted its failings, addressed the shortfall in training, local leadership and is anticipated to pass its second inspection.

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In contrast, James Paget failed a second inspection and has been subject to a third CQC inspection.

Dr Coffey said: 'The third inspection has taken place. The outcome of that inspection isn't yet formally known. The hospital has yet to receive the draft report but I have not heard positive noises so far.'

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She added: 'In particular, I do think that the chairman of the hospital trust should be considering his position.

'I appreciate that the financial risk of the hospital is low which may reflect good financial governance but the key is patient care.

'So while, the chairman has provided useful leadership, with two failed inspections on care and the possibility of a third, 'I think it is time he steps aside and allows new leadership to come forward.'

A spokesman for the James Paget University Hospital said: 'As reported in the local media today the trust is concentrating its efforts on patient care and is engaged in a formal process with Monitor.

'No decisions regarding the leadership of the trust will be made at this time.'

For more on this story, see tomorrow's paper.

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