Special measures Norfolk hospital ‘on the right track’, say councillors

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is being placed in "special measures". Picture: Ian Burt

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is being placed in "special measures". Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant © 2004

Bosses at an under-scrutiny hospital said there were no plans to downgrade the A&E department or cut services after being placed on special measures.

Officials at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) said a number of improvements had already been made at the King's Lynn hospital as they presented their quality improvement plan to the Norfolk Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

The chairman of the committee today said he felt the west Norfolk hospital was 'on the right track' following some damning reports from regulator Monitor and health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission.

Councillors heard that its target of having at least one nurse to eight patients during the daytime and one nurse to 11 patients at nighttime had been in place for the last eight weeks.

Members of the scrutiny committee were also told that dementia awareness training had been delivered to staff and safeguarding policies had been rewritten.

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David Stonehouse, director of resources at the QEH, told councillors that he could not give a date for when the hospital will be taken out of special measures.

'I can give assurances that there is no plans to downgrade the QEH A&E - we have received additional funding to improve capacity. There are no short-term plans to remove services from the QEH. The key focus is to make sure we get the quality right.' 'I think special measures will be with us for a while and the special measures is quite supportive with a buddy arrangement and an injection of new leadership is part of that,' he said.

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The QEH has been partnered with Guys and St Thomas' Hospital in London, who will share knowledge and good practice.

The hospital was placed into special measures last month after it was issued with four warning notices by the CQC.

Val Newton, deputy director of nursing, added that the NHS trust still had 25 vacancies and were looking to recruit new nurses from abroad and the local area. The hospital has appointed 35 nurses from Portugal over the last two months.

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