More work needed at NHS trust, say inspectors

INSPECTORS have revealed more improvements are needed at two hospitals in the region run by a NHS trust which is expected to be lifted out of special measures.

Chief inspector of hospitals Prof Sir Mike Richards found sufficient progress has been made at the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust to make the recommendation, although it will need more support.

Hospitals in Scunthorpe and Grimsby were rated as requiring improvement, while Goole’s hospital was rated “good”.

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The trust was put in special measures a year ago amid concerns over higher-than-average death rates.

Sir Mike said: “While there are signs that this trust is improving, a number of these improvements are new and need time to become fully ingrained in the service.

“The trust still needs to take action to make sure that people using its services receive good quality treatment and care all the time.”

Overall, 21 areas were identified for improvement, among them increased staffing in A&E and on hospital wards including at night and weekends.

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Safety needed to improve, particularly in critical care in Grimsby which was rated “inadequate”.

GPs in northern Lincolnshire, who pay for hospital services, yesterday said the move was “positive and encouraging”.

Trust chief nurse Karen Dunderdale added: “These reports are a fair reflection of both the improvements achieved so far and what we still need to do to make it even better.

“Vacancies for doctors and nurses are a major issue for most hospital trusts, with recruitment remaining a challenge across the country. We have a recruitment strategy in place, which attracted more than 200 nurses in the past year.”