East Lancashire NHS Hospitals Trust chiefs speak out over Keogh report

Burnley General Hospital. Area 1-7.
Burnley General Hospital. Area 1-7.
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East Lancashire NHS Hospitals Trust bosses have responded to a report from an NHS chief which highlights major failings in the service provided and has placed the Trust in “special measures”.

Mr Mark Brearley, chief executive at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, which is in charge of hospitals across Burnley, Pendle and Clitheroe, has spoken out after the report from Prof. Sir Bruce Keogh highlighted issues with poor governance; inadequate staffing levels; higher death rates at weekends and lack of compassion.

Mr Brearley said: “We welcome the report and recommendations but recognise there are a number of areas we need to address and they are graded urgent, high and medium priority.

“We have robust plans in place to address all the issues, we will ensure everyone within the organisation from the board to frontline staff are committed to carrying them out. This report strengthens our resolve to deliver zero tolerance of poor care, the report has identified areas of good practice and we intend to ensure this is replicated across the organisation so we can deliver the best care to all our patients.”

“The review team considered the caring and dedicated staff at the Trust to be a huge asset. However, they noted staff were working at full capacity and we will be addressing these staffing pressures immediately.

“We are all committed to doing our utmost to ensure patients are at the heart of all decisions and our staff are inspired and enabled to deliver the care we all want to see delivered and that we are held to account if we fall short on this. We will embrace the findings and learn from the recommendations.”

Rineke Schram, Medical Director, added: “We aim to deliver high standards of care and treatment and in the majority of cases we succeed. However, we are very sorry there are patients that have not received the care and quality that we aspire to. This report identifies how we can change and I am committed to working with my colleagues to deliver these changes.

“We are proud of our staff and pleased the Keogh Review team praises them for their commitment to quality and patient safety. We now want to move forward and act on all the recommendations. We will support our staff and ensure we deliver safe, high quality care to patients and the wider public.”

A joint statement has also been issued by the groups which commission local health services from the hospitals, East Lancashire CCG and Blackburn with Darwen CCG, said: “We put good patient care and high quality patient experience at the heart of all we do. We therefore fully support the Keogh review team’s findings.

“This report has highlighted the need for the Trust to make some specific improvements in patient care and in the delivery of services at Blackburn and Burnley hospitals. It is also important to note that while the report has identified some specific areas for concern, areas of good practice and excellent patient care are highlighted at both hospitals.

“As the commissioners of hospital services we will ensure that, in the best interests of everyone, the report’s recommendations are acted upon promptly by the Trust and where good practice has been identified, it is supported and built upon.

“We give our assurance to local people that we will over the next few days and months make certain the action taken by the Trust is effective in addressing the report’s concerns.

“We are committed to working extremely hard with colleagues at both hospitals to ensure that local people can be confident in services that they provide.”