Action plan to improve care at hospital

HOSPITAL bosses are today drawing up an action plan to improve care, after a report by an independent health expert highlighted a number of faults.Ipswich Hospital ordered the review, by health expert Dr Norman Pinder, after a series of high-profile inquests revealed flaws in the way people were cared for.

HOSPITAL bosses are today drawing up an action plan to improve care, after a report by an independent health expert highlighted a number of faults.

Ipswich Hospital ordered the review, by health expert Dr Norman Pinder, after a series of high-profile inquests revealed flaws in the way people were cared for.

Among the problems raised in Dr Pinder's report were a lack of communication between staff and concern over the way serious incidents are dealt with and recorded, but he stressed that the hospital was in no way worse than others in the region.

Dr Pinder, head of clinical quality and deputy director of the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority, said:

“I don't consider Ipswich an outlier. Other trusts, to a greater or lesser extent, would exhibit the same findings.”

Throughout the course of the three month review Dr Pinder spoke to around 80 staff. He also studied minutes and papers from the hospital's clinical governance committee.

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As reported in the Star in November, Andrew Reed, chief executive of the hospital, asked for the review in order to highlight areas that need improving.

He said: “The findings Norman has come up with are very clear and constructive in terms of helping us to move on.

“It's always a bit of a risk to ask someone from outside to come in and tell you what they think of you, but it's very important for us to do that.

“It's a risk worth taking. It will really improve some very core elements of what we do.”

The results of the review have been presented to the hospital's board of directors and work is now beginning on drawing up an action plan.

Dr Pinder said: “Many of the points I've raised are just about tightening up existing procedures and asking 'how much more can we do?

“It's about raising the bar a bit higher.”

Gwen Collins, director of nursing, will be working alongside Dr Pinder to draw up an action plan to tackle the points raised.

She said: “People are ready to go ahead and they are totally committed to this.”

Do you feel confident that the hospital are doing all they can to tackle problems? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk