South Staffordshire PCT has published what it calls an ‘unprecedented’ review of care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, after installing its own staff to check on standards.
South Staffordshire PCT said it found ‘commitment and determination’ to improve at Mid Staffordshire, although remaining problems included nurse staffing levels and the complaints system.
Over three months a PCT team looked into concerns that were still being raised about the trust by patients and relatives. PCT director of quality and performance Yvonne Sawbridge was seconded to the trust for three days each week.
The report says despite the PCT’s work with the trust since a Healthcare Commission report in March revealed ‘appalling care’, it ‘felt too far removed… to be fully assured’ care was improving.
‘Therefore we took the unprecedented step as a commissioner to initiate a detailed quality assurance project,’ it says.
Concerns raised in the PCT report include staffing levels - particularly of nurses - and some issues mentioned by the Healthcare Commission, including pain management, nutrition and care of vulnerable patients.
A report on the Mid Staffordshire scandal by national clinical director for primary care David Colin-Thomé said there was no evidence that the PCT had contributed to the problems, but it had lessons to learn.