Hospital managers worry after Mid Staffs failures
Fifty two of 103 respondents – mainly acute managers – said they recognised parts of the poor management and governance highlighted by the Healthcare Commission in March.
Forty two said they recognised elements of the care standards that were criticised.
Examples given included shortage of senior medical staff, lack of protocols, planning and processes, lack of supervision in accident and emergency and junior doctors “used to prop up the service”. One respondent claimed receptionists also assessed patients at their trust.
However, one said: “Sporadic instances of some of these happen at most trusts. Mid Staffordshire seems to have experienced widespread, long term problems.”
Examples of governance problems cited include attention to waiting lists at the expense of care, poor communication, poor board use of benchmarking, lack of board focus on care quality.
The survey results show many trusts have made changes in reponse to the Mid Staffordshire report.
Fifty respondents to the poll said changes were planned or had already been made to information provided to the board following the scandal.
Eighty four respondents said they had read the report but only 60 said their board had already considered the implications. Another 24 planned to. NHS chief executive David Nicholson wrote to trusts telling them to “reflect on this report and the lessons within to ensure these failures cannot be repeated”.
Thirty seven said they planned to or had changed the design of emergency care, for example the use of clinical decision units or emergency care assessment units. Much of the way emergency patients were handled at Mid Staffordshire was criticised.
Nineteen said their trust was planning, or had already, increased numbers of nurses or doctors. Sixty-five said their trusts were now giving more consideration to mortality rates.
In response to government’s new requirement for trusts to publish an annual statement on patient and public involvement, 54 said they did not believe it would help avoid standards becoming so poor elsewhere.
Results are based on an HSJ internet poll completed by 103 respondents.