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Trust placed in special measures over staffing levels


The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn Foundation Trust has been placed in special measures by regulators because of poor care and weak leadership.

The trust had previously received warnings about inadequate patient care from the Care Quality Commission and a report from NHS England highlighted low nurse staffing levels. The trust has also been in breach of its licence for financial issues since April.

The hospital is the first to be placed under special measures other than the 11 Keogh review trusts which entered in July. CQC inspectors found low staffing, a lack of training in relation to dementia care, as well as systems to manage risks not being robust enough, were putting patient care at risk.

Chief Inspector of Hospitals Sir Mike Richards said: “The failings we found at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn were unacceptable on more than one occasion.

“The concerns we found, coupled with information from our partner agencies and other regulators, were so great we felt it was necessary to request that Monitor intervene and place the trust in to special measures to assist in driving through improvements for patient care.

“CQC will continue to monitor this trust closely and our inspectors will be returning unannounced to check on whether improvements have been made and standards are being met.”

Moniotr, the foundation trust regulator, has used its powers to put in place a new management team with a focus on turning around the struggling foundation trust’s prospects.

Manjit Obhrai, who has experience in turning around the fortunes of poor performing FTs as medical director at the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, takes over as chief executive.

Trust chair Kate Gordon has stepped down and has been replaced by David Dean, who is currently vice-chair of Guy’s and St Thomas’.  

The former chief executive of neighbouring James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth David Hill will join as improvement director.

Stephen Hay, managing director of provider regulation at Monitor, said: “We have been monitoring the performance of this trust for some time, and it is clear that the current leadership of the trust is not the right one to bring about the changes needed.”

He added: “That’s why we’ve taken this action, appointing new leadership and bringing in a team that has a wealth of experience. Special measures will give the trust the opportunity to start delivering the standard of care patients expect.”


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Readers' comments (6)

  • And the Trust "chief nurse" is where ?

    This individual doubtless allowed /permitted low staffing and probably had plans for futher reductions.

    Time for these people to be struck from the register !

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  • Good leadership starts at ward level.
    Too many weak ward managers not doing what is right and not standing up for what is right, too afarid of management from above. Management from above put pressure to do too many tick box exercises, and the ward managers just continues to be yes people to their managers. To the main people who actually do the work they are unable to manage properly, too harsh or too soft.
    Get us managers who can manage.
    One does not need to be a bully or too much of a mat. Having common sense, being practical, professional, kind and strong are the qualities leaders in care should have.

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  • Anonymous | 27-Oct-2013 6:17 pm

    Are you a ward manager?

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  • Jenny Jones | 26-Oct-2013 10:30 am

    And the Trust "chief nurse" is where ?

    Too right, no mention of this person... perhaps she is just a ghost now? Died from lack of work.

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  • This is very sad. I had a wonderful nurse training at the old KL hospital. I still teach things I was taught. My dying brother received 'a very poor standard of nursing care for which I apologise wholeheartedly' said the Chief Exec Patricia Wright who left before this came to be. I know some very good nurses who work at the QE. Let's hope that this hospital will improve. Once again it seems to be the people on the shop floor that take all the flack.

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  • They are recruiting nurses from Portugal and there's no director of nursing. The deputy is acting.

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