Now Kings Lynn hospital is placed in special measures over 'unsafe staff levels' - Health News - Health & Families - The Independent

Now Kings Lynn hospital is placed in special measures over 'unsafe staff levels'

Chief executive and chairman replaced with 'hit squad' of high-performing health service officials

Health Reporter

Another hospital has been placed in special measures after inspectors discovered it had been running for at least two months with potentially unsafe staffing levels.

The chief executive and chairman of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn NHS Foundation Trust have been replaced with a "hit squad" of high-performing health service officials tasked with urgently improving patient safety.

The foundation trust regulator Monitor took action after poor standards at the hospital were highlighted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following inspections earlier in the year.

The watchdog looked at staffing levels at the trust between 21 June and 13 August and found there had not been a single day on which the hospital had operated with the required number of staff.

The CQC also highlighted a lack of training in relation to dementia care and poorly performing risk management procedures, which it said was "putting patient care at risk".

It is the first NHS trust to be placed in special measures under a new crackdown on failing hospitals, other than the 11 hospitals with higher-than-normal death rates which entered following the Keogh review in July.

The new regulatory regime for hospitals takes inspiration from the Department for Education's "super-heads" programme. The trust will also be "buddied" with a high-performing partner, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, which will send senior staff to assist with reforms at the Queen Elizabeth.

Health Minister Lord Howe said that the Government was determined to create a "safer NHS" in which "substandard care will not be tolerated".

However, Labour accused the Government over cuts to nursing posts and said the dangerously low staffing levels seen at Kings Lynn were affecting other hospitals too.

"Hospitals across the country are in the same position," said the shadow health minister Jamie Reed. "David Cameron has placed hospitals on a financial knife-edge and another 450 nursing jobs were axed last month alone. Experts warned him of the central importance of nurse numbers in providing safe care, but he is forcing hospitals across England to operate without safe staffing levels."

The Royal College of Nursing has called for safe staffing levels and a number of reports, including Sir Bruce Keogh's review, also highlighted the problem. However, the Government has rejected calls to legislate on minimum staffing levels for wards.

The hospital was placed in the highest risk band by the CQC in a review of performance across all 161 NHS trusts published this week.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals said: "The failings we found at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn were unacceptable on more than one occasion.

 "The concerns we found, coupled with information from our partner agencies and other regulators, were so great we felt it was necessary to request that Monitor intervene and place the trust in to special measures to assist in driving through improvements for patient care.

 "CQC will continue to monitor this trust closely and our inspectors will be returning unannounced to check on whether improvements have been made and standards are being met."

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Programme Test Manager

    £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...

    IT Network Manager - Shepherd's Bush, London

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Network Manager - Shepherd's Bush...

    Secondary supply teachers needed in Peterborough

    £21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Secondary supply teac...

    Modern Foreign Languages Teacher

    £100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Full time German Supply Teacher...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week