Bucks health chief Anne Eden says she welcomes the input of hospital bosses from Salford and that her trust is already start to see improvements.
“Since the Keogh review into the quality of care and treatment in our hospitals concluded in July, we have been working hard to reflect and understand what else we need to do to continue improving patient safety, quality and experience.
“We are pleased that Salford Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is our partner to help us as we continue to make our improvements. We have already begun working closely with them and welcome the fresh insight and support they have provided.
“I am confident that we will be able to make a real difference and we have already started to see improvements in quality of care and patient experience.
“We are constantly looking for ways to improve and I encourage our patients and staff to continue to let us know how we are doing – where we are getting it right or where things can be better.
“I would like to thank all our staff for their ongoing commitment and dedication to improve services for local people.”
She said a ‘clear action plan’ based on Sir Bruce’s recommendations and their own staff has been developed and from which ‘we are already making steady progress’.
The action plan has four key themes – patient safety, patient experience, workforce and governance.
The trust says changes include:
> Now reviewing every patient death in a detailed and systematic way, compared to 50 reviews per month previously, which ‘has helped us to quickly identify if there are clinical improvements we need to make’.
> There have been significant improvements in complaints response time, with 85% of complaints now answered within 25 days compared to 54% in March. All complainants are also being offered an opportunity to meet with the clinicians involved in their care in order to more fully talk through their concerns.
> A dedicated phoneline has been established for healthcare professionals in community services to access GP support more quickly out-of-hours.
> Additional doctors are working at weekends in Stoke Mandeville Hospital to support emergency medical patients on the wards and ensuring that each and every patient admitted at the weekend is reviewed on a daily basis.
> The trust has instigated a process to review patient transfers between acute sites, which ‘has confirmed that to date the small number of transfers that do take place (3-4 per day) are safe and clinically appropriate’.
> It has commenced a review of ‘our nursing establishments on our wards and instigated a new staffing-level report, updated three times a day, which helps us to understand and respond in real time to those wards that need additional support’.
Ms Eden claimed that the trust ‘already gets it right for the majority of patients’ and ‘there is a lot to be proud of’ but that they need to improve consistency across all areas.
She said: “We know that we get it right for the majority of the patients we see and treat, but we need to get it right for all of our patients and at the moment that consistency is not always there.
“There is a lot to be proud of - we have some of the lowest infection rates in the country, our stroke service is one of the best in the region, we have excellent surgical outcomes and we are leading the way in joining up acute and community services – we are ambitious for more of our services to demonstrate this best practice. Every patient counts to us and the whole organisation is absolutely committed to learn and improve.