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New CQC report underlines need to drop privatisation now

In a second blow to the George Eliot Hospital, following the critical report by Sir Bruce Keogh in July, the hospital has been named in a new report by the Care Quality Commission as one of the hospitals it is most concerned about.

 

In a second blow to the George Eliot Hospital, following the critical report by Sir Bruce Keogh in July, the hospital has been named in a new report by the Care Quality Commission as one of the hospitals it is most concerned about.

Mike O’Brien, a former Minister of State for Health, said today,

“This CQC report, following Keogh, confirms that managers at the George Eliot Hospital need to have a laser like focus on improving the quality of care. Managers must put patients first. They must not be distracted in the next year by a time consuming bidding process to allow a private company to take over the hospital.  The hospital now faces a fire storm of care, financial and management issues. The last thing they need is privatisation on top of all that.

“Ministers must now drop the privatisation process or at least postpone it for two years to allow patient care to be addressed as the top priority.”

CQC analysts have assigned hospital trusts to bands.  Band 1 is the most worrying and 6 the least. The George Eliot Hospital is in Band 1 with 23 other trusts. Intelligent monitoring will guide the regulator in deciding which hospitals to inspect most urgently.

The criteria include waiting times for treatment in A&E, after referral by a GP and for cancer; patients’ trust in the doctors and nurses; rates of hospital-acquired infections and stroke patients scanned within an hour of arrival; patient safety incidents and “never” events (incidents that should have never happened); management of patients’ pain; and how much help was provided to someone to help them eat their meal.

The CQC calls these “smoke detectors”, which alert them to hospitals that are outside the expected range of performance in a particular area, which also include several types of mortality rates.

Taking trusts’ scores in those 150 areas, it has categorised band 1 as including those at which performance is 7.5% below the norm. Band two contains trusts at 5.5% below the norm, at band three it is 4.5% below (31 trusts), at band four it is 3.5% below (25 trusts) and in band five it is 2.5% below (24 trusts). By contrast, there are 37 trusts in band six, where performance is typically 2% above the norm.

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