Spotlight on: The Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

18 July 2013

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Spotlight on: The Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

The Health Secretary has revealed that 11 hospital trusts listed in a shocking report of care failures have been placed under "special measures".

After the publication of Professor Sir Bruce Keogh's review into 14 trusts, Jeremy Hunt reiterated that all of the trusts have been ordered to act on recommendations made by health officials. In this article looks at the underlying faults at one of the trusts highlighted in the report: The Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

The Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust has responsibility for Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Amersham Hospital and a series of community services provided across the county. The shortcomings identified in Keogh’s report include nursing staff failures in dealing with patients nutritional and medication needs. Staff were also criticised for their care of patients with dementia.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had said:

"That at Buckinghamshire NHS Trust there were shortcomings in nursing care relating to patient medication, nutrition and observation. He said there were also complaints from families about patients with Dementia were treated."

Sir Bruce Keogh identified that staff were often overworked with the quality of their care seriously compromised as a result. For example, Junior doctors were left in charge of up to 250 patients at weekends. The lack of clarity and organisation in coordinating workloads was not only manifested at Junior Doctor level, but also with more senior Doctors and nurses telling investigators that their workload was ““unmanageable” “frightening” and “unsafe”.

Furthermore, this overworking meant that there was inattention and inability to detect problems, particularly when treating deteriorating and acutely ill patients.

Commenting on the results from the review, Anne Eden, Chief Executive of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust said:

“We welcome the report by Sir Bruce Keogh into the quality of care and treatment at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, as part of a national review into 14 trusts, and take its recommendations very seriously.

“We were encouraged that, overall, there were no significant issues with the safety or quality of care provided at our hospitals. In particular, the review team spoke to many patients who were ‘unreservedly complimentary about the quality of nursing care they had experienced’. The team also said they met ‘some outstanding and dedicated’ staff.

“However, there were too many instances where patients and staff said we got it wrong and we accept that it is not good enough. It is important for us to learn from, as an organisation and within clinical teams, to understand what we need to do differently into the future. We will be looking at all patient complaints raised through this review to see whether they are already being dealt with or to identify any further action we could take. Patient safety and compassionate care are an absolute focus for us.

If you or a loved one has experience or knowledge of failings at the above trust, you can contact to discuss your healthcare rights in order to make a complaint and to also make a medical negligence compensation claim with our medical negligence solicitors depending on the circumstances of what happened. Our specialists have wide experience of providing advice and support across a number of areas relating to potential medical mistreatment, such as misdiagnosis and delay and surgery errors, for example.