Medical regulator places hospital in form of ‘special measures’ after concerns about patient handover

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A hospital is being scrutinised by a regulator over concerns about the safety of patients.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn (QEH) has been placed under 'enhanced monitoring' and told to deliver an action plan after an inspection last year by Health Education East.

The body warned there was a risk that acutely ill patients were being 'lost' because of a decrease in handover efficiency between staff, but Dorothy Hosein, chief executive of QEH said the problem was caused by the hospital's patient tracking system.

She said at no time did clinicians fail to deliver safe and appropriate care. The GMC has confirmed that the hospital's action plan is appropriate and it is satisfied work is under way to resolve the issue.

However as a result regulator the General Medical Council (GMC) has included the QEH among 79 hospitals across England that it will monitor.

The step is described by GMC chief executive Niall Dickson as 'a form of special measures'.

Ms Hosein said: 'Our patient tracking systems were failing to keep up to date with patient movements.

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'We have implemented more robust clinical handovers and further manual system checks.

'We are confident this issue has been resolved.'

The GMC has said it would visit the hospital later this year to check that necessary improvements had been made.