Colchester: Hospital trust avoids going into special measures but report calls for improvements in priority areas

Patients fail to turn up for surgery

Patients fail to turn up for surgery - Credit: IAN BURT

Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital need to take action in six priority areas, according to a report, published today.

The Keogh Review into the quality of treatment and care at the Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust calls for it to develop its processes for handling complaints, update its quality strategy and review its end of life provision.

In addition, the report calls for further focus on quality at the trust, the empowerment of clinical leadership and improvements in staff communications.

However, the report also refers to “great examples of excellent care being delivered to patients,” and “a large number of committed and enthusiastic staff who were keen to give their best for patients.

The review, led by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England Medical Director, reviewed the quality of the care and treatment being provided by 14 hospital trusts in England, including Colchester Hospital Trust.

Chief Executive of the Trust, Dr Gordon Coutts, said the report was “fair”.

He added: “We accept the report, which identifies a number of areas that require us to take action.

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“However, it also confirms that overall both of our hospitals are improving. We understand that we need to make further changes and go on improving.”

Of the 14 hospitals in the report only three - including Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust - were not recommended for special measures.

Harwich MP Bernard Jenkin said this fact was “vindication” of the management team at the trust.

He said: “The six areas of concern highlighted in the Keogh report are already being addressed by the management team at Colchester - Colchester is not another mid-Staffs hospital.”

Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell said: “Colchester Hospital University Trust is moving in the right direction.”