We all want the best care for ourselves and our families, especially when we are ill. Some of you have raised concerns with me about the recently published Keogh Report into the quality of care and treatment at a number of underperforming hospitals, including Basildon Hospital.
When the details were shared, I promised to find out more and report back once I had more information.
At my request, I arranged to discuss the findings with Claire Panniker, CEO of Basildon Hospital. She assured me that all the points raised in the Keogh Report were already fully acknowledged by the Hospital and that action is taking place to improve matters.
The salient points raised were as follows:
1. Bed Capacity – This will be increased through a new ward opening this winter providing 28 additional beds. A additional 14 beds are being created in other vacant ward space. In the short term, arrangements will continue with Brentwood Community Hospital to provide extra beds as well.
2. Nursing Capacity – An extra £1.8million is being invested in nursing staff with 200 additional nursing positions, of which 157 are already appointed.
3. Patient Involvement – This is being improved with new procedures and a new senior nurse leading PALS – the Patient Advisory and Liaison Service.
4. Hygiene – Good hygiene practices by medical and other staff are being strictly enforced although infection rates are already low at the Hospital.
The CEO has also chosen to put in place from October a new clinically-led management team so that medical professionals are at the very forefront of running the Hospital. This in my opinion, must be the way forward and is something, which I greatly welcome.
I will be keeping in contact with the CEO of the Hospital to see how these actions are contributing to the high quality local health care service we all want and expect.