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Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust

Bucks Healthcare Trust ‘unsafe’, staff told Keogh  

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Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust staff have described care provided by the trust as “unsafe”, the report by Sir Bruce Keogh’s mortality review team reveals.

The NHS England medical director’s review, published today, revealed the trust was one of 11 out of the 14 under investigation to be placed in special measures.

The individual report on the trust said: “Concerns were repeatedly expressed by both nursing and medical staff about out-of-hours medical cover for the acute medical patients at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, particularly at weekends.

“There was evidence that this led to delays in patients receiving essential treatments such as intravenous antibiotics and intravenous fluids.

“The current level of medical care was described on more than one occasion as ‘unsafe’, by staff to panel members.”

Other concerns the report included:

  • Staffing levels of senior grades, in particular out of hours. The nursing staffing levels and skills mix was also found to be “suboptimal in places”.
  • The trust needs a more robust method to provide assurance on the impact of major service change on quality of care, especially in regard to the consolidation of A&E at Stoke Mandeville.
  • Poor patient transfer between the trust’s two sites is damaging patient experience. Leadership at board level appears “reactive” to issues and there seems to have been limited challenge and examination of the data presented to the board.

Trust chief executive Anne Eden said she “welcomed” the report and would take its recommendations “very seriously”.

She added: “We were encouraged that, overall, there were no significant issues with the safety or quality of care provided at our hospitals.

“However, there were too many instances where patients and staff said we got it wrong and we accept that it is not good enough

“We will be looking at all patient complaints raised through this review to see whether they are already being dealt with or to identify any further action we could take. Patient safety and compassionate care are an absolute focus for us.”

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