New Blackpool Victoria Hospital bosses ordered to 'urgently address' shortcomings after inspectors blast it again

Blackpool Victoria Hospital
Blackpool Victoria Hospital

The NHS trust running Blackpool Victoria Hospital has again been ordered to improve by inspectors.

Almost two years after the health watchdog Care Quality Commission (CQC) said the Whinney Heys Road hospital ‘requires improvement’, it has given it the score again.

It was handed the same ranking in three out of five key areas: Safety, effectiveness, and responsiveness. It was rated ‘good’ for levels of caring and ‘inadequate’ for its leadership.

Key findings released today include:

- Performance in medical care, including older people’s care, worsening to ‘inadequate’ – the lowest score possible;

- Fleetwood Hospital remaining ‘requires improvement’;

- More positively, the Clifton Hospital in St Annes remaining ‘good’; and

- Overall ratings for community health services remaining as ‘good’ – with ratings for adult services ‘outstanding’ but ‘requires improvement’ for children and adolescent mental health wards.

Ann Ford, the deputy chief inspector of hospitals, said it was “disappointing” the trust “had not made any significant improvement and in some areas performance had declined”.

She said: “In response, our rating of well led has deteriorated to Inadequate as we found that the inspection team found that not all leaders had the knowledge and capacity to lead some of the services and effectively implement change.”

The CQC acknowledged recent management changes, including the retirement of former chief executive Wendy Swift, who was replaced by Kevin McGee on a job-share basis with the hospitals trust in East Lancashire.

It said the new team “must now urgently address the areas identified for improvement”, including make sure “care and treatment is provided in a safe way for patients”, and that the trust “deploys sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled, and experienced staff to make sure they can meet people’s care and treatment needs”.

The CQC said it will “be working closely” with the Vic and NHS bosses “until we are assured the required improvements have been made”.

In a statement, Mr McGee said: “Our patients are always our priority so we are sorry where we have not delivered the high standard of care we aim to provide.

“We are determined to provide the very best care for our patients, and I am confident that with a new and committed leadership team supporting a truly caring workforce, we will deliver significant improvements that we can all be proud of.”