Bosses at Blackpool Victoria Hospital have responded to a government report which says improvements must be made.
Inspectors for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have rated the hospital as “requires improvement” after an inspection in January. Many of the services it offers have been rated as good, but maternity and family planning has been given an inadequate standard.
Gary Doherty, chief executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said he accepted there were areas that needed to be improved as a priority, but he said he was pleased with the progress made at the hospital which has also been highlighted in the report, which was released yesterday.
He said: “The biggest area where we must improve is staffing and we identified our issues in this area to the inspectors.
“This year we are looking at investing £1.5m for extra nursing staff, and that’s on top of the £1.5m we invested in the last financial year. One of key areas where we need to fill vacancies is in medicine, and we have 55 extra nurses starting in this field this month.”
Mr Doherty said the Trust had extremely high staff retention rates.
The Vic has also been pulled up for its medical records, and Mr Doherty said staff had been reminded to make sure their notes were always clear and legible.
The Trust is also in the process of bringing in an electronic system which will made doctors’ notes more readable and accessible.
The CQC report highlights problems in how incidents are reported at the Trust.
Mr Doherty said: “We have found when we spoke to staff in some areas, not all staff were absolutely clear on what exactly needed to be reported when incidents had happened, or could have happened. That’s something we’re working on.”
The report also noted the hospital was using what the inspectors called a “sluice” room – a room used to clean soiled linen and equipment – for weighing and measuring patients.
But Mr Doherty said the room was only a treatment room, though plans were in place to insert a partition wall and make it into two separate rooms.
He added: “There are a great deal of positives in the report along with some of the things we must do and should do to improve our services, but it does identify many areas of good practice.
“Our mortality rates are something that Keogh correctly identified as a serious smoke signal. They have been falling for the last two years and we now show a massive improvement and are at a level expected for a trust of our size.
“The most important thing is that whoever visits, they recognise the compassion and care of our staff towards patients and the organisation.”