The Health Secretary has revealed that 11 hospital trusts listed in a shocking report of care failures have been placed under "special measures". After the publication of Professor Sir Bruce Keogh's review into 14 trusts, speaking in the Commons Jeremy Hunt said we can "no longer ignore mediocre treatment". All of the trusts have been ordered to act on recommendations made by health officials. The review found that none of the hospitals investigated was providing "consistently high quality care to patients".
Steve Fouch from the Christian Medical Fellowship told Premier's News Hour you can't point the failings to one particular issue:
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the Commons patients have died needlessly, he said:
"No statistics are perfect but mortality rates suggest that since 2005 thousands more people may have died than would normally be expected at the 14 trusts reviewed.
"Worryingly, in half of those trusts, the Care Quality Commission - the regulator specifically responsible for patient safety and care - failed to spot any real cause for concern, rating them as 'compliant' with basic standards."
The trusts in special measures will be assessed and senior managers "not up to the job will be removed" and each hospital will be given a high performing organisation as a mentor, Mr Hunt added. Tameside General Hospital in Greater Manchester was one of the worst trusts in England. The investigation found "insufficient levels of nursing staff", "poor supervision of junior doctors by consultants" and a "lack of compassion" from staff dealing with patient complaints. Mr Hunt said where failures have been found in hospitals like Tameside "they have been confronted straight away".
Reacting to the report, Karen James, acting Chief Executive at Tameside, said having been at the trust for just over a week, she could tell staff are passionate and committed to improving quality of care.
She told reporters:
"The Keogh report identifies areas for improvement and we acknowledge those."
Ms James went on to say that the new leadership team was committed and will learn lessons from Keogh report.
"We've accepted recommendations of Keogh review in full. There's no ifs and buts. These recommendations will be implemented. Please be assured of that."
The Royal College of Nursing has welcomed the Keogh review but has called for more nurses to be made available throughout the NHS.
Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said:
"We take this review incredibly seriously and have detailed examples of where we've raised concerns about patient safety in these Trusts.
"There's an undeniable link between nurse staffing levels and patient mortality and we can't keep failing to address this issue.
"Only with the right numbers of nurses, with the right skills, can we ensure patients are looked after with dignity and compassion."
The 11 trusts in special measures are: North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Medway NHS Foundation Trust. The other three investigated are: Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust and Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust.