I attended a meeting of Governors and Non-executive Directors at Basildon Hospital yesterday and I suppose it’s only right, in my capacity as a public governor for the hospital, to comment on Sir Bruce Keogh’s report, which was published yesterday. I think it’s vitally important, admid all the media hysterics, to point out that the Keogh Report acknowledges that Basildon & Thurrock University Hospital NHS Trust is undergoing a significant transformation in its management and governance structure and that there is evidence of a change in culture across the Trust, which is dedicated to seeing improvements. It identifies many areas of good practice, as well as areas requiring urgent action but it’s important to note that both Keogh and Monitor have said that, in all areas identified, the Trust has already put action plans in place, which are being implemented. In my role as a Public Governor, I shall be scrutinising this!
The regulators are clear. There is nothing more they personally need to do that the Trust is not already doing. The Trust is embarking on a huge recruitment drive for new nurses; paediatric A&E is open 24/7; the Trust is on course to having the entire hospital staffed at senior clinical level 24/7; the Trust has successfully brought the Legionella problem under control; all deaths at the hospital are investigated and notes passed to another clinician for review; and the Board is embarked upon other major changes. So it’s not all doom and gloom.
I fully support the Keogh team’s assessment that the Trust be allowed a period of stability to enable it to deliver its challenging programme of improvements. I will continue, as a Governor, to support and challenge BTUH directors during this process.