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Hospital inspection welcomed by health councillors
THURROCK’S leading voices on health have welcomed news that Basildon hospital will be subject to a “vigorous inspection” by the NHS medical director.
The announcement came last Wednesday after an inquiry into failings at a hospital in Staffordshire were published.
Stafford Hospital had a high rate of unneccessary deaths between 2005 and 2008 following neglect and abuse.
The Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which also has two years of high death rates, is to be investigated along with four other hospital trusts, including Colchester.
NHS medical director Prof Bruce Keogh said: “Each of the hospitals we identify today is already under scrutiny by regulators.
“This clinically led and practical investigation will allow me to assure myself, Parliament and patients that these hospitals have everything they need to improve.”
Cllr Barbara Rice, Thurrock Council’s portfolio holder for health welcomed the inspection, which she claims could be a test of the new chief executive's mettle: “Basildon is one of five hospitals with the highest mortality rates in the country and the Care Quality Commission have regularly reported unsatisfactory results from inspections there.
“These concerns have been addressed only to have others emerge. We have taken a tough line with the hospital with the chief executive and senior directors attending both the shadow board and the scrutiny committees to explain how improvement is going to be achieved.”
Cllr Wendy Curtis, who is chairman of the Health and Well-being Overview and Scrutiny Committee said: “Hospital managers regularly come before us and tell us that things are getting better. Some years ago the hospital’s mortality rate was among the worst in the country, but we have been assured that situation has improved, in fact the hospital’s improvement rate is one of the best.
“I am really looking forward to see what the report says and I would hope to see that it confirms the hospital’s improvement line.”
Basildon hospital has come under-fire in recent months after a CQC report last year deemed practise at the hospital unsatisfactory and last week, the hospital was forced to admit it failed to protect patients from the deadly legionnaires disease between 2004 and 2010.