Too many patients are still dying at King’s Mill Hospital it has emerged today, after health watchdogs revealed that it is in a worst state now than when it was first placed in special measures two years ago.
The situation is now so serious at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust that Professor Sir Mike Richards, the chief inspector of hospitals, has written to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt outlining his concerns.
As part of a desperate bid to save the failing hospital, leading medical experts and clinicians are now being shipped in from around the country to try and turn King’s Mill around.
Health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have revealed that Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust has failed to improve in all but one of the 18 targets set in 2013 - while the trust is performing significantly worse in many areas, according to the report.
Medical specialists have now been drafted in to turn the hospital around, with an interim head of nursing brought in from another hospital, as well as specialists brought on board to focus on problems in maternity care.
There will also be a specially appointed ‘improvements director’ introduced in a bid to turn around the failing trust, and a business specialist to support the senior leadership team.
And they will shortly be announcing the appointment of a new chief executive officer for the trust, which also runs Newark Hospital, Mansfield Community Hospital and Ashfield Health Village.
King’s Mill Hospital and Newark Hospital were rated ‘inadequate’, while Mansfield Community Hospital was rated as ‘requires improvement’.
The trust has also failed to take adequate action to cut its high death rates, with warnings in place for deadly blood infection Sepsis in place as far back as 2010.
The CQC report said: “There have been long-standing concerns about the management of patients with sepsis.
“In 2010 and 2012 we raised mortality outlier alerts with the trust when information showed there were a higher number of deaths than expected for patients with sepsis.
“The trust had identified a third mortality outlier for patients with sepsis in the period April 2014 to January 2015.”
Inspectors found 88 deaths from sepsis between April 2014 and February 2015. Some 32 per cent of all patients diagnosed with septicaemia died, almost double the England rate of 17 per cent.”.
Professor Richards told Chad: “Rather than getting better, our latest inspection shows a noticeable decline in ratings.
“The trust is now rated inadequate for safety, effectiveness and being well-led. This is extremely concerning, both in terms of the quality of care that people can expect from the trust, and for what it says about the trust’s ability to improve.
“This situation must not be allowed to continue and we are considering, along with partner agencies, the best option available in order to improve services rapidly.”
The CQC has agreed with health regulators, Monitor, that the trust needs a long-term partner for them to make these improvements.
Frances Shattock, regional director at Monitor, said the report is ‘deeply disappointing’ and that people need a much better service from their hospitals.”
She said: “The trust will need more than a sticking plaster.”
But despite the obstacles, the trust was rated as ‘good’ for caring, as staff were seen to be hard-working, passionate and caring.
Karen Fisher, acting chief executive at the trust, said: “We are extremely disappointed about the shortfalls the Care Quality Commission has identified. We are sorry we have let down our patients by not meeting the high quality standards they rightly expect. We have made a new start and are working hard to make the necessary improvements.”