PATIENTS are being given the opportunity to share their experiences and views on how to improve care as part of a new system being introduced by local health chiefs to improve quality and safety of hospital care.

Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group – together with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – are introducing a new robust process for assessing quality and safety to reassure patients, the public and stakeholders that standards of care are the best they can be.

Under the new system, patients, carers and members of the public will have a voice to share their own experiences telling health professionals what works well and what they would like to see improved.

In June this year, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was one of 14 trusts subject to a detailed Keogh review to assess the care and treatment it provided. This was because data from the Trust showed that mortality (death) rates were consistently higher than expected.

The CCGs and the Trust found this review to be extremely valuable as it highlighted a number of areas where it was performing well along with areas for the Trust to focus on to improve standards. To ensure continuous improvement the local health economy has now developed a similar system using the principles of the Keogh review to assess standards of quality on an on-going basis.

The three-stage review will involve:

  • The gathering and analysis of information and data.
  • A visit to selected areas of the Trust by a team of health professionals, patients and representatives from Healthwatch. This which will include interviews, observations, focus groups and listening events for staff, patients and the public.
  • The production of a final report with recommendations and an action plan where appropriate.

Helen Skerritt, Chief Nurse at Blackpool CCG, said: “We recognise that the majority of care provided at Blackpool Teaching Hospital is delivered with great compassion. Nurses, doctors and staff are working incredibly hard.  However, there are a number of areas where improvements can be made. We hope that by working together we can strengthen and build on the trust of local people.”

Jen Aldridge, Chief Nurse at Fylde and Wyre CCG, added: “By really listening to the experiences of patients, their families and staff on the ground – and acting on that experience – we aim to ensure the hospital provides very best care possible.”

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has welcomed this new approach.

Chief Executive, Gary Doherty, said: “We found the Keogh review extremely valuable. It gave us reassurance in the areas where we are performing well and, most importantly, helped us to focus on the areas where we can improve. The public can have confidence in their local hospital services and can be reassured that where areas for improvement have been identified action is in place to address these.

“We look forward to working together with the CCGs, Healthwatch, our patients and the public to ensure the quality and safety of care we provide is of the highest standard all of the time.”

The two CCGs will aim to undertake a minimum of three Quality Assurance Review visits a year. The first review will be of maternity services and will take place during November. 

For further information, please contact the media team at NHS Staffordshire and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit on 01772 214104