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Hospital making ‘steady progress’ to being out of special measures

PUBLISHED: 12:29 09 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:06 10 March 2020

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has stopped visitors to their hospital with a few exceptions. Picture: QEH

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has stopped visitors to their hospital with a few exceptions. Picture: QEH

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Nursing vacancies have fallen to record low levels at a hospital criticised for lack of staff.

Hospital chief executive Caroline Shaw. Photo: QEHHospital chief executive Caroline Shaw. Photo: QEH

Lack of nurses on some wards was one of the red flags raised by the Care Quality Commission, when it placed Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), in King's Lynn, in special measures and rated it 'inadequate' in September 2018.

Prof Steve Barnett, then newly-appointed chair of the trust which runs the hospital pledged in a letter to the community: 'We will turn this around.'

MORE - trust chair's pledge to 'turn around' QEH

Eighteen months on, nursing vacancies have fallen from double figures to a record low of 5pc.

Chief executive Caroline Shaw said the hospital was making 'steady progress', with some 40pc (86) of the 206 improvements demanded by the CQC being made.

'I am really proud of the hard work being put in by teams across the Trust and we look forward to welcoming inspectors back to QEH later this year so that we can share our progress and the work that is ongoing to ensure we consistently provide safe and compassionate care to our patients,' she said.

MORE - work begins on improved A&E unit

'Areas in which we can demonstrate improvements include recruitment, retention and training, maternity, investment in our buildings to improve patient and staff experience, improving infection, prevention and control, handling complaints more quickly, achieving financial stability and strengthening our leadership.

'We are also working hard to improve staff engagement and culture, to create an organisation where staff enjoy working and where sharing learning when we don't get things right to improve the care we provide is the norm so that we can deliver sustainable improvements.'
The hospital was the only one in the east of England to improve in every area in the 2019 national staff survey, which showed staff satisfaction and experience is improving Investment in buildings is under way, while managers have produced a £250m blueprint to completely refurbish the hospital, which will celebrate its 40th birthday this year.

MORE - £250m plan for hospital revealed

A new maternity unit and community midwife hub is being created at the North Cambridgeshire Hospital, in Wisbech.

The QEH now has 40-plus end-of-life champions across hospital wards to support staff to provide better care and support for patients and their families.


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