Burnley And Blackburn Hospitals Criticised For ‘Poor Care’

CQC Releases Report Into East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

28.10.2013

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

A new report released by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has hit out at the standard of care at hospitals in Burnley and Blackburn.

The CQC rated the treatment available at the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust as a 'one', with lower numbers indicating a poor result. This is in contrast to some of the highest performing medical institutions in the country, which have been rated as 'six'.

Executives at the trust were informed earlier this year that they had been put under special measures to improve performance, so the bad results would have been expected.

Mark Brearley, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust's chief executive, commented: "All trusts in special measures have been put in band one.

"In relation to being in special measures we have a robust action plan in place and report regularly to the NHS Trust Development Agency and our health economy partners as we introduce sustainable improvements which will support us to come out of special measures and demonstrate how we have improved patient experience."

One of the most prominent issues facing East Lancashire's hospitals is the high rate of obesity and unemployment, which has caused substantial social issues to emerge - resulting in a knock on effect that has increased demand for health services in the region.

But the positive performance of other NHS trusts in areas with challenging socio-economic conditions will put pressure on bosses in failing authorities to implement managerial and structural changes to allow residents to access the care they are entitled to by law.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust currently has one of the highest mortality rates in the country and while there is some natural variance from one area to another, this statistic has led some people in Blackburn and Burnley to claim there are institutionalised problems that need to be tackled if the situation is to improve.

The trust's earlier move into special measures was recommended by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS medical director for England, who conducted a care audit that was published on February 6th 2013.

Expert Opinion
It is encouraging to see that these inspections are being carried out across the entire NHS however the results in this case are very worrying.

“It is vital that the public are made aware of this information and they are able to consider their options in terms of their own healthcare. It is essential that every effort is made to assess the findings of the CQC’s analysis of local trusts to consider what can be done to improve standards of patient care and safety.

“The vast majority of the NHS is of a very high standard and many patients are treated successfully every day. However we are also contacted on a daily basis by patients and families across the country who want answers over poor care they have received and reassurances that lessons will be learned to prevent others sufferings in similar circumstances."
Lisa Jordan, Partner