'Inadequate' Safety For Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Greater Manchester NHS Trust Under Scrutiny After Inspection


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Medical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell warn that changes need to be made to prioritise patient wellbeing after one of the largest hospital trusts in England has been rated inadequate amid ‘serious concerns’ over patient safety.

An inspection into Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (PAT) in Greater Manchester found that risks were ‘not escalated in a timely way, if at all.’

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) watchdog, which carried out the inspection, stopped short of putting the Trust into special measures following the appointment of a new leadership team.  

Following inspections in February and March, the CQC report criticised staffing levels, culture and systems. The previous leadership was described as inadequate but the patient care was rated as good. 

In the latest report, inspectors found patient safety was of ‘significant concern’ – particularly in A&E departments, maternity services, and services for young people and children. 

The Trust has been given £39.2m to spend on improving services. 

Mark Havenhand, medical negligence expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office, said: 

Expert Opinion
“It’s alarming that the inspection found that risks were "not escalated in a timely way, if at all" when the NHS is supposed to be encouraging a “duty of candour” and a culture of openness in order to maintain, and if necessary restore, patient trust.

“Immediate changes need to be made to strengthen the level of patient safety at the Trust as its current state is not acceptable. With the devolution deal to give Greater Manchester a bigger rein in the control of its health spending, it’s important that the community works together to improve health care services in the north and retain a good reputation for quality of staff and patient care.”
Mark Havenhand, Partner