"THIRD WORLD" CHILDRENS HOSPITAL JOINS SICK LIST
Too few beds, poorly trained staff, equipment in short supply…the Healthcare Commission has delivered a withering verdict on Birmingham Childrens’ Hospital whose Chief Executive Paul O’Connor quit earlier this month following complaints about "Third World" conditions.
The investigation followed a report in The Observer last December, outlining serious concerns raised by consultants.
It's emerged that in the face of rising demand in the first half of 2008 - when an additional 2,000 inpatients were admitted compared to the previous year and 10,000 extra outpatients – it simply wasn’t coping across a range of services, including renal transplant, liver transplant, cranio facial surgery, neurosurgery, and radiology.
The watchdog makes 12 recommendations to address issues relating to:
Anna Walker, the Commission's Chief Executive, said: "While we have no evidence of serious incidents causing harm to patients, the standard of care has not been as good as it should have been in some cases.
“The response to safety concerns has been slower than ideal. It is deeply concerning that serious issues were raised but not properly or rapidly addressed over several months.
“While I would not say there were ‘third-world' conditions, there were serious potential risks in the way care was provided.
"The good news is that the Trust has now recognised the seriousness of these issues and begun to take action. It will need the right underpinning management structures to deliver agreed care.
“This must be backed by action from those commissioning services at BCH on behalf of children as the trust has been struggling with some very real problems with its ability to meet demands for the service.
"Following the Trust's recent actions, we are reassured that there are no immediate safety concerns but there must be no delay in resolving the issues we have highlighted.
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