Ipswich: Hospital handed much-improved inspection report

THE town’s hospital has finally been given a clean bill of health, just over a year since a damning inspection report, it can be revealed today.

A new and much-improved report is being published today by the Care Quality Commission, the national independent regulator of health and social care within England, after inspectors spent time at Ipswich Hospital in July.

The CQC had visited the site in March 2011 and a short while later released a shocking report revealing serious failings in the care of elderly patients. Among the findings were patients being left in their night clothes all day and staff not washing their hands enough.

Then chief executive Andrew Reed said the report had damaged the hospital’s reputation and pledged to make changes.

Mr Reed has now left and interim chief executive Nigel Beverley, who joined on May 21, is one of a number of senior changes at the Heath Road site.


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A follow-up visit last September identified signs of progress but now the latest report, compiled following last month’s unannounced CQC inspection, is being released.

The team of five independent inspectors visited 13 wards and departments on July 26 and interviewed dozens of staff and patients.

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The inspectors found that the hospital was fully compliant against all the standards that they inspected. These included privacy and dignity, nutrition, care and welfare of people who use services, cleanliness and infection control, supporting workers and quality.

The CQC team particularly noted areas of very good practice within the hospital including good communication between patients and doctors, care and compassion from all staff towards patients and their families, attention to detail and overall the sustained improvements which the hospital has made in the last 12 months.

Cath Gorman, associate director of nursing and quality, said: “We have received such amazing support for a big programme of change throughout the hospital where we have put patients first and really done things differently to get it right.

“This is a day we have been waiting for and working towards for many months.”

Stella Colwell, vice chairman of the Ipswich Hospital Users Group, an independent body made up of patient representatives said the fully compliant report was “well deserved”. She added: “There has been a big improvement agenda underway in the past 18 months and the improvements are palpable, you can see the changes, there is a different atmosphere and in some cases a completely changed physical environment.”

DR DAN’S VIEW

IPSWICH: Dr Daniel Poulter, MP for North Ipswich and Central Suffolk, said new senior staff with “dynamism and skills” had played a key part in the progress being made at the town’s hospital.

Dr Poulter said the staff and patients had been through a “tough time” but there was a bright future ahead, reflected in the latest CQC report.

He said: “We know that the quality of care at Ipswich Hospital is very good - there were some issues of concern that were flagged up by a previous CQC report and as a result there has been quite a substantial change of members of the board of the hospital and many of the senior management team have left the trust. I think the hospital and all the staff should be commended.”

He said the new report put Ipswich Hospital back “where it should be” - as one of the best hospital in the region.

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