Curtis Law Solicitors respond to the Keogh Review of failing NHS hospitals

01 June 2015

At Curtis Law Solicitors we were largely impressed by the recommendations of the Sir Bruce Keogh Review. While some members of the public may feel that it does not go far enough, if the recommendations are implemented we believe that a safer NHS may be achieved.

The report was compiled after patient and public participation, listening to the views of the staff, inspection of the hospitals and consideration of documents made available by the Trusts. To ensure that the interests of our clients were represented, Curtis Law Solicitors attended a public consultation at Blackburn King Georges Hall in June.

  • Public and patient expectation of the NHS is to offer care that is clinically effective, safe and delivers a positive experience for patients. The NHS should be good in all three expectations and while pockets of excellent practices were found in all 14 Trusts reviewed, there was also significant scope for improvement.
  • The aim of the report is to bring about improvement.
  • The mortality figures were clinically meaningless and academically reckless as the basis of any statistical analysis.
  • Not one of the 14 Trusts was given a clean bill of health.

Standard expectations were arrived at across the 14 Trusts inspected:

The report outlined that significant progress should be made towards achieving certain aims within 2 years. These include:

  • To make demonstrable progress towards reducing avoidable deaths in hospitals and to stop concentrating on mortality statistics;
  • To make better use of data available in Trusts to pursue quality improvement;
  • Patients, carers and members of the public shall be treated as equal and vital partners to their local Trust, and should be confident that their feedback is being listened to and is helping to positively improve care;
  • Patients and clinicians will have confidence in the quality assessments made by the Care Quality Commission;
  • Hospitals should be up to date with the most recent advances – 'Professional, academic and managerial isolation will be a thing of the past.'
  • Nurse staffing levels and skills mix will reflect the needs of their patients and the Trusts will provide transparent data regarding this;
  • Junior doctors in specialist training will have their energy and creativity harnessed and be encouraged to contribute today, rather than in the future;
  • NHS Trusts will understand the positive impact that happy and engaged staff will have on patient outcomes.

There were three local Trusts inspected by the review panel which were relevant to the areas Curtis Law Solicitors represent. The comments from the review stated:

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:

  • The Ombudsman rating was lower than was expected;
  • There were more payments for clinical negligence than would be expected;
  • There were concerns about heart treatments;