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NHS trust works on ‘open’ culture
WORK to ensure recommendations from a damning report into failings at a neighbouring hospital are put into place is under way in Worcester.
Penny Venables, chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, told your Worcester News that the £13 million Francis inquiry into “appalling” failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust was something that had been “a long time coming”.
She said much work had already been done to ensure the trust was implementing the open and compassionate culture it has called for and that staff are being involved every step of the way as they will be the ones leading the change.
In his report, Robert Francis QC made 290 sweeping recommendations for healthcare regulators, providers and the Government, including that hospitals which failed to comply with a “fundamental standard” should be forced to close.
Each of those recommendations has been analysed in detail by the trust and steps to implement findings at Worcestershire Royal, Kidderminster and Redditch Alexandra hospitals already being made.
“A lot of the recommendations are not to do with how we run the hospitals or how we treat patients but are to do with how we are regulated. In terms of those we have got to wait for the Department of Health to say whether it accepts them,” said Mrs Venables. “The bits that we will be focusing on immediately are really all about making sure that we have got the best possible culture in terms of transparency and openness.”
She added: “The Francis Report is something that is very welcome. It has been a long time coming and that is why many of the things it is suggesting we have already started to put in place.
“There will be a lot of input from staff all across the three hospitals. We want to hear from them so that we absolutely know that we are tackling the right things. It is about empowering staff because at the end of the day they are the ones that will change it.”
Other recommendations from the Francis Report include healthcare providers being liable for prosecution if they fail to comply with standards and a statutory obligation on doctors and nurses for a duty of candour, so they are open about mistakes.
Prime Minister David Cam-eron has also announced the creation of a new Chief Inspector of Hospitals post.