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Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust

Colchester failed to fully respond to staff's patient safey concerns

Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust managers potentially put patients at risk by their “apparent lack of response to escalated patient safety concerns”, Sir Bruce Keogh’s mortality rates review said.

The NHS England medical director’s review, published today, also said the trust needs to urgently address five areas including staffing of certain high risk wards and clinical leadership.

The Keogh team’s individual report on the trust said: “There were a number of areas where the staff felt they were not being listened to by their managers and that there was an apparent lack of response to escalated patient safety concerns.

“Important areas identified by the panel included the process for managing deteriorating patients and radiology escorts, which staff identified as needing urgent action but had not seen this addressed.

“Further improvements in the amount of meaningful staff appraisal rates and finding a way to rapidly feed back to staff how their concerns have been heard and addressed should be a priority.”

Trust chief executive Gordon Coutts described the report as “fair”. He said: “I accept that in some cases we have not provided the best possible care across every ward or department in our hospitals and I apologise on behalf of the trust to any patients we have let them down.

“We recognise that there are steps that we need to take quickly to address the concerns raised by the review. An action plan is in place, which we are already implementing and we will continue to strive to be at our best consistently.

“I particularly welcome the positive comments about our staff. The review is spot-on when it says the ‘workforce is committed, loyal, passionate, caring and motivated’.

“With their help we are confident that we can make the necessary improvements.”

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