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West Herts to be placed in special measures


West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust faces being imminently placed in special measures following a Care Quality Commission inspection.

The regulator’s report on the acute trust is due to be published tomorrow, and it is expected the chief inspector of hospitals Sir Mike Richards will recommend it be placed in special measures.

The trust has a long history of care quality and governance problems.

An independent probe concluded last year that the trust missed an opportunity to uncover major problems in its cancer waiting times management due to poor complaints handling and “lack of continuity in leadership”. This came after the trust apologised for administrative errors that could have led to cancer diagnoses being delayed.

There has been significant change at the top of the organisation within the past 18 months, with a new human resources director, transformation director, chief executive, deputy chief executive, finance director, chief nurse and two operations directors all joining the organisation since July 2014.

The trust had a £16.2m cash boost from the Department of Health in late 2013 to refurbish its hospitals – although bosses said at the time the organisation needed £67m over six years to ensure facilities were fit for purpose.

Until January 2015 the provider’s chief executive was Samantha Jones, who stood down to become NHS England’s director for new models of care. Ms Jones won Nursing Times’ sister title HSJ’s prestigious chief executive of the year award while leading the trust in 2014.

She joined West Hertfordshire in early 2013, succeeding Jan Filochowski.

Under her leadership the trust invested in extra nurses in an attempt to address a longstanding shortfall in staffing levels, and successfully cut mortality rates.

Ms Jones also sought to improve the trust’s governance and management of clinical risk – work which had not been completed at the time of her departure.


Readers' comments (6)

  • Another picture of a bloke wafting his hands. Liberate yourselves - if you do not have a relevant picture (and one without the wafting hands!), then do not use one at all. Oh, for a life without powerpoint and person in front wafting their hands. Between the bright light, the gesticulation, and the littering of sentences with non-words, there's really no point bothering with business meetings, for nothing is communicated because there's nothing there.

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  • Not as bad as the one they use for any/all stories about overseas recruitment - two Russian passports sitting on a map of Hawaii.

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  • and not bare above the elbows- tut tut

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  • 10 September 2015

    Time and time again will tell us. Onion Meetings after meetings listen to suggestions and opinions. Plans have not made by the present leadership. If plans have been made. Action plan has not been set in motion or action plan is not solution to the problem.

    Its NOT fair for the CQC to place West Herts on special measures. Why?
    West Herts has three hospital sites: 1) Watford General Hospital which is the main hospital which handles emergency and critical conditions, injury, disease and operations; 2) St. Albans City Hospital which handles elective or plan operations, outpatient clinics, diagnostic imaging and 3)Hemel Hempstead Hospital which has Urgent Care/ Walk-in Centre, Endoscopy and Colonoscopy, Medical Science Laboratory and Pathology.

    Its is a known fact that almost all the problems emanates from the flagship hospital which is Watford General Hospital. Systemic, Organizational, Financial failure is from the top level. Have you heard anyone from the very top of the organization held accountable from this Trust. The answer is NO.

    Because they have resigned or leave their position. With a fat pension, bonus and a huge separation pay. Thanks by the way, courtesy of the tax payers money. Everybody should know this they get a huge pension without a single pound of contribution from the pension scheme. Is this fair?
    For the NHS front-line worker who work and make compulsary pension contribution every month. With their salary shrinking after tax- PAYE, NI. Inflation rate rising every year which affects basic goods, sevices, housing rent, mortgage, petrol, energy bills and utilities.

    The CQC had made an assessment for the entire organization. Without considering the two sites of the hospital which are doing well. Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Delegating and Coordination is the main job of the Top level Management. With high salary pay and bonus. Its expected that you are going to perform very well. Which in this case past top level management had failed in the guise of J.F.

    Please CQC, before releasing your evaluation and decision. Take a look at the past Top executives performance who drag this NHS Trust Hospital down. Who was not held accountable? For the actions committed and ommitted. This will send a message to future executives to pass the buck or problem to a successor that it is ethically good to make mistakes that involves human life be your decision affects directly or indirectly. What if your love ones are facing life threatening conditions and misdiagnosed or not treated? What will you do? In this situation, Chief? What ... ???

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  • Forget being a top surgeon be a hospital board executive look at those from MidStaff.
    Nice job if you can get it. No come backs just big bucks

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  • 11 September 2015

    The House of Parliament should pass a Law about Top CEOs or Chief Executives and Executive and Non-executive Board Members being held accountable for their actions directly or indirectly, omitted or committed. This is the only way we can stop them for misusing public funds or tax payers money, abusing their power and authority, doing nothing about organizational issues - clinical or non clinical.

    The Chief Executive and Board Members salary, bonus, pension and other fringe benefits should be commensurate on the hospital or organizations evaluation by the CQC or other independent, non government organizations. If the organization is placed on special measure or failing. Their salary and other fringe benfits should be reduced to 60%. This will be a big savings to the NHS Hospital Trust. So, that future chief executives will think twice about their decisions and stop them from being irresponsible, tactless and complacent.

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