Special measures hospitals to be given expert mentor

UNDER-Fire hospitals facing scrutiny over higher-than expected death rates are set to get expert help from a “buddy” Yorkshire NHS trust with some of the lowest mortality levels in the country.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG), which runs hospitals in Goole, Scunthorpe and Grimsby, will get mentoring support from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

It follows an announcement by the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt last week that trusts put in special measures in an alert over death rates would be partnered with high performing trusts to support them in the delivery of action plans to improve standards.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Bosses said the regulator Monitor had instead urged them to enter into an alternative arrangement to accept mentoring support and they were now looking at what help would be useful.

Hospital bosses in Sheffield have already been partnered with the troubled Lincoln-based United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Karen Jackson, chief executive at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust, said its mortality rates were “steadily reducing” and a number of new initiatives were underway to help identify deteriorating patients, reduce patient falls, improve nutrition and 
hydration, carry out hourly 
checks on patients, and recruit additional nurses and healthcare assistants.

She added: “Our staff are completely committed to our new vision and values of ‘together we care, we respect, we deliver’ and we look forward to working with Sheffield on some specific parts of our plan to help us complete our improvement journey.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She said the arrangement with Sheffield would not involve any changes to the management team and Sheffield’s managers would not make any decisions about the trust.

Sheffield’s chief executive Sir Andrew Cash said the Northern Lincolnshire trust had already made “significant progress”.

“Therefore, our role will be to supplement this by offering mentoring support where the trust feels it would be helpful and also to share good practice which is in place in Sheffield if this can also benefit patients in Northern Lincolnshire,” he said.

“The detail of the buddying arrangement still has to be agreed but it is anticipated that our support will focus on areas which NLaG’s team feel will add most value to their planned improvements.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Northern Lincolnshire trust has been ordered to fulfil all recommendations made in a review by NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, to commission reviews of clinical leadership and examine how the quality of its care is monitored.