Lincolnshire hospitals make progress in Keogh review

Hospitals that make up United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust have been making improvements in their patient care and service quality since the Keogh Review.

As previously reported, the Trust was put into special measures after the findings of the national review over mortality rates in 14 Trusts.

ULHT was given 57 recommendations to help improve its services over the next six months.

At a board meeting on November 5, members highlighted the steps taken so far to show improved patient care.

Since the recommendations, ULHT developed 261 milestones, and have achieved more than 180 of these.

According to the latest ULHT data for April to June 2013, the Trust has also seen a decrease in its mortality rates to 88.8, which is below the national average for the period of 100.

In order to improve through the Keogh findings, ULHT is working on the connection from Board to ward complaint management, processes around ‘do not resuscitate’, nurse and out of hours staffing levels, 24/7 working and Out Of Hours hospital at night.

The Trust are presently making patient experience a key priority, improving schemes such as the Friends and Family Test, which has remained at a slightly above average score for a few months.

However, there has been an improvement on the score for response rates, and in additional comments from patients. 86% of these were positive.

ULHT are also working on a complaints review, including listening events for the public facilitated by the Patients Association, staff workshops and questionnaires sent to Trust members. A new template for the complaints service will soon be implemented.

Finally, the board discussed the new 15 Steps Challenge, an assessment which involves patient representatives and staff assessing clinical areas on first impressions.

The challenge is based on the idea that within 15 steps of walking onto a ward, you can get a feel for the quality of care being provided.

It looks at staff friendliness, safety, cleanliness, organisation and if staff are working together.

So far the challenge is being used in Boston Pilgrim Hospital, but it will shortly be rolled out to Lincoln County Hospital and Grantham Hospital too.

ULHT said in a statement: “Our aim is to ensure that the actions we are taking have a measurable impact on the care our patients receive and to do this we have developed seven key measurements.

“At the end of October we launched a new Patient Advice and Liaison Services on each of our main hospital sites.

“Within the first week, they have taken more than 100 enquiries across a range of themes, but importantly they include positive feedback.

“The teams were recruited by our patients who sat on an assessment panel to support staff using the national nursing vision we which have adopted to assess the compassion and communication skills of candidates.

“We have reviewed and will be re-launching our patient experience strategy which provides a strong vision for continuing our developments and improvements in patient experience.”