Hospital waiting to see whether it has made regulator-set deadline to improve

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has a new interim Chief Exec and Hospital Trust Chairman

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has a new interim Chief Exec and Hospital Trust Chairman - Trust Chairman David Dean (left) and Chief Exec Manjit Obhrai. Picture; Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A hospital is waiting to see whether it met its New Year's Eve deadline for making major improvements to its quality of care after it was put in 'special measures'.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn was given just 67 days by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to be compliant in four warning areas after a damning inspection published in October.

On Monday directors met to review the progress they had made in the four areas, which include safeguarding people, staffing levels and supporting workers and assessing and monitoring the quality of services.

The findings will now go before the hospital's Quality Improvement Delivery Group, with regulators expected to make another inspection at any time.

North-West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham, whose constituency includes the QEH, said: 'I am confident the hospital is going in the right direction.'

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Mr Bellingham has held a meeting with David Dean, the new chairman of the hospital trust brought in by healthcare regulator Monitor to turn things around.

'Certainly, on the basis of what I was told, the QEH is absolutely on target to meet those areas and I am confident it will do that,' he said.

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'I am certainly very confident that those areas are being dealt with because they are very much in the control of the hospital. Some of those areas are down to common sense and systems.'

Mr Bellingham added that although he was not questioning staff dedication, 'previous management did take their eye off the ball'.

He said he had 'confidence in the new team that is in there', adding: 'I think we've got some of the very best people in the country who are working at our hospital to help turn it around.'

The more challenging areas to deal with however, he said, are those out of the hospital's control - such as the demand placed on accident and emergency during winter. The QEH is sharing a £3.9m grant to help deal with seasonal pressures.

Darren Barber, UNISON QEH branch secretary and chairman of the hospital's Joint Staff Committee, said managers had 'looked at all the problems and are working hard to meet the targets'.

Do you have a view about the care of the QEH? Write, giving your full contact details, to: The Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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