Hartlepool health bosses hoping for better inspection report

Hartlepool health bosses are hoping for a better outcome in an upcoming inspection.

Monday, 27th November 2017, 3:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th December 2017, 11:57 am
University Hospital of Hartlepool

Almost two years ago the trust which governs the town’s health services was told it required improvements following an inspection by the CQC, Quality Care Commission.

At a meeting of the town’s Audit and Governance Committee, members heard that a number of improvements have been made since then.

Lindsey Robertson, deputy director of nursing, patient safety and quality with the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said they are expecting another inspection shortly.

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She said the trust is hoping enough changes have been made so it is no longer in the requires improvements category.

In November 2009 the Government published a health bill which required all providers of NHS healthcare services to provide an annual Quality Account, which has to be viewed by a scruitiny committee.

Ms Robertson went along to the town’s Audit and Governance Committe to discuss with members what will be going in next year’s Quality Account.

She said: “Patient care is top of our agenda. But, with the current climate the financial pressures are a consideration, but without affecting patient quality.”

She said a lot of work has been done to assess patients with complex needs, such as dementia, as soon as possible when they are admitted to hospital and the trust now has more than 80 champions in demential care working for it.

The deputy director said they have also worked hard on the discharge process.

She said if patients do not need to be in hospital then they need to be able to leave as soon as possible with the best support package in place if they need it.

Ms Robertson said mental health services is a priority moving forward and said the trust is working with other partners to identify gaps in provision.

Coun Rob Cook, said one of his concerns was the use of agency staff who may not know how things operate in the hospital and it effects continuity.

However, Ms Robertson said the trust wants to continue to drive down the cost of agency staff and the majority of the time use their own bank of staff.

Coun Cook said the length of time people are left waiting around in hospital to be discharged after being told they can go home is often too long.

He said: “The doctor might tell you at 9am that you are fit to go and you can still be sitting there at 4pm.”

Ms Robertson said the trust is focussed on escalating the turnover times in all areas and getting people home quicker.

Members of the committee agreed that outreach and prevention, mental health and stroke care were the new three areas they wanted to suggest as priorities for the Quality Account 2018/19, as well as continued focus on dementia care and discharge procedures.