Hospitals in Lincolnshire are celebrating the great strides they have made in turning around the quality and safety of services provided to patients.
It’s been one year since United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) was placed into special measures by NHS Improvement, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulator.
While the last year has been challenging, staff are also celebrating everything they have to be proud of.
Chief Executive Jan Sobieraj said: “It takes time to turn around the quality and safety of services in a Trust our size but we have collectively achieved so much. Our staff should feel proud of all we have done to improve the quality and safety of services for our patients.
“We recognise that we still have a long way to go, but we’ve made some good progress in improving the experience of our patients.”
Some of the achievements made during the year include:
· We now employ more consultants, middle grade doctors, allied health professionals and health care support workers than in 2016.
· We’re spending £2.5m a month to improve the fire safety of our buildings for staff and patients.
· We’ve invested £4.6m million in new neonatal facilities at Lincoln and maternity services at Pilgrim.
· The number of patients waiting over 12 weeks for a first outpatient appointment has halved.
· We’re improving screening patients for sepsis in our A&E departments, and then ensuring that these patients get the treatment they require within the hour.
· We launched our ward accreditation scheme, where wards are now regularly inspected and assessed against a range of 13 quality standards by a team of five new quality matrons.
· We opened a new ophthalmology department at Grantham and District Hospital which provides 16 – 18 clinics per week and three and a half theatre lists per week for patients with conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma.
· Over 81% of staff have had a flu vaccination this year- one of the highest vaccination rates in the country – helping to protect our patients and each other from getting ill. ULHT was the 15th best performing Trust out of 245 in the country.
· Cancer patients in ULHT are now able to have robotic assisted surgery thanks to a ground-breaking new partnership with University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. Surgical precision of the robot has excellent oncologic and functional results, there is a reduced need for blood transfusions, less post-operative pain and a shorter inpatient stay.
· Following patient feedback we introduced new ‘Ask Me’ wristbands to help staff identify patients with sensory impairments so that their needs can be met more efficiently.
· The daily “golden hour” was introduced where heads of nursing and matrons do structured checks of the wards to ensure that each area of the hospital is providing the same high quality standard of care.
· We launched the Swan scheme to ensure we provide the best quality end of life care for patients and their families. It includes end of life care training for all hospital staff, establishing new volunteering roles to support end of life care and individual memory boxes and bags introduced on wards to help families in these circumstances.
· We launched our staff charter, after consultation with staff, which seeks to bring people to account and focuses on the behaviours we expect from everyone.
· Some ankle replacement surgery is now being done as a day case at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston. Where appropriate, patients can be admitted and go home the same afternoon, helping to free up hospital beds and save money.
· We have launched a 24/7 service for pregnant women who have reduced foetal movement, to see these women more quickly than before.
· We opened a new rehabilitation gym for patients on Ashby ward in Lincoln as part of a major £900,000 refurbishment which also saw the ward increase from 12 to 18 beds.
· Blood transfusions at ULHT are among the safest in the country thanks to our £800k investment in state-of-the-art technology called Blood360.
· We are working with the British Red Cross to help get medically fit patients back into their own homes as soon as possible.