Upon inspection of the Hospital, if concerns are raised about appropriate standards of care not being provided and it is identifiable that the patients may be put at risk, the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) will put the Trust who is in charge of the hospital, into special measures. This generally means that the specific Hospital has not met the standards the NHS expect this Hospital to meet.
Reasons which amount to a Trust being put into special measures include:
- Abuse of patients by members of staff.
- Failure to take informed consent for treatment.
- Failure to provide the correct medication.
- Provision of poor standards of care.
- Patient welfare being put at risk.
When a Trust is in special measures, a plan will be prepared to improve the standards of the hospital, reviews will take place and improvements will be made. It is not uncommon that the Trust may be partnered with a high-performing Foundation Trust or that the number of services and functions of the Trust reduced in order to focus on improvements. A target of 12 months is usually set prior to being put into special measures to which improvements should be made within.
Focusing on Lincolnshire, Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, which is currently in special measures is focusing on their severe shortage of both doctors and nurses. In February 2018, Pilgrim was forced to cancel all non-urgent children’s operations due to this lack of staffing and alongside this they ran a recruitment campaign. Monday 4th June 2018 saw the withdrawal of junior doctors from Pilgrim Hospital paediatrics ward after concerns were raised about the safety of both patients and staff in regards to a staff shortage. It is evident that the NHS are trying to improve the levels of negligence by appointing patient safety as a main priority. However temporary closures often mean that when necessary, local individuals will have to travel further afield to different Hospitals which causes longer travel times which could significantly impact the patient.
If you have concerns that a medical professional has not provided you with a reasonable standard of care and think that you have a case for a Medical Negligence claim, contact our specialist team of Medical Negligence Solicitors to discuss your case. Contact Hodgkinsons on 01754 897150.