Inspectors are back at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn
- Credit: IAN BURT
Health watchdogs have returned to a Norfolk hospital which was placed in special measures because of concerns over waiting times, staffing levels and its finances.
More than 40 inspectors from the care Quality Commission (CQC) will be speaking to staff and patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King's Lynn, to see what progress has been made.
The QEH was ordered to make improvements last October by the CQC and fellow NHS regulator Monitor after an inspection revealed major concerns over missed A&E targets, the number of nurses on wards, safeguarding people and its financial deficit.
Sir Mike Richard, who is leading the inspection team, said: 'We will be talking to doctors and nurses, hospital managers and patients at the trust. But it is vital that we also hear the views of the people who have recently received care at the trust, or anyone who wants to share information with us.
'This will help us plan our inspection, and so help us focus on the things that really matter to people who depend on this service.'
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Sir Richard's team will be expected to look at A&E, medical care, surgery, intensive/critical care, maternity, children's care, end of life care and outpatients.
It is also expected that the hospital's decision to suspend the home birth service will also be reviewed.
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Home births have not been offered to pregnant mums since September 2013, when the service was initially suspended for six months.
Catherine Morgan, director of nursing and patient experience at the QEH, said it was because they did not have enough midwives.
The hospital declined to comment on the inspection but Darren Barber, chair of the QEH's branch of health union UNISON, said: 'We welcome the CQC's visit and all the staff have worked very hard and have done everything they can to improve the hospital so we can deliver the best care for patients. But we do need more funding and would call on CCG's to help support this.'
A full report of the inspectors' findings will be published by the CQC later in the year.