Mentoring Scheme For Failing Hospitals ‘Must Improve Patient Safety’

Legal Experts Reveal Hopes Over New Government Proposals


By Rob Dixon

Medical negligence lawyers have revealed their hopes that new proposals designed to improve standards of care at struggling hospitals will both boost patient safety and ensure any particular areas of concern are tackled immediately.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has confirmed plans which would see top-performing management staff within the NHS charged with helping failing hospitals to improve care quality, in a system based around similar processes in place for schools.

According to the Government, the aim is to ensure practical changes to hospitals which allow for a quicker turn-around in fortunes, with the measures being proposed in the wake of the Keogh Review. The 11 hospitals placed under special measures following that report have been given partners.

Irwin Mitchell represents around 500 patients affected by problems at 14 trusts investigated as part of the Keogh Review and was also invited to submit evidence to the review.

Lisa Jordan, a Partner and Head of Medical Law and Patients’ Rights at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The fundamental aim of the Keogh Review was to inspect and report on the improvements that could be made in failing hospitals to prevent further patient safety problems in the future.

“These measures are a clear sign that the Government is keen to ensure best practice and quality processes are shared across the NHS, as well as to ensure a system is in place to tackle concerns effectively and quickly.

“The welfare and safety of patients must always be a fundamental priority for the NHS and it needs to remain at the heart of the continuing work being undertaken to improve standards. The confidence that many patients have in the NHS has been shaken in recent months and it is vital everything possible is done to restore this.”

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