King’s Lynn Queen Elizabeth Hospital remains in special measures

  • August 6, 2019
  • Little evidence of improvement has been found at King’s Lynn Queen Elizabeth Hospital after it was first put into in special measures following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last year.

    Inadequate rating and low staff levels


    It was rated inadequate, with concerns over safety and leadership and the report revealed high staff turnover, high vacancy and sickness rates, and also showed that low nursing staff levels were impacting on patient safety.

    The hospital reduced its number of beds last September in a bid to improve the quality of patient care, but this meant up to 25 operations a week were being delayed, which in turn led to a backlog of increasingly-ill patients.

    A recent inspection showed that there had been “little evidence of improvement” despite the hospital trust’s promises that improvement was a “relentless focus”. The CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said: “Improvements that needed to be made had not been made, and the service fell short of what people should be able to expect.”

    Special measures

    Caroline Shaw, Chief Executive for Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn Foundation Trust, recognised that there is a lot of work to be done. “We will not be out of special measures within six months. I would envisage it will take two years – it will be 2021,” she said.

    Hospital chairman Professor Steve Barnett has vowed to “turn this organisation around” and promised they “are absolutely determined to get this right for [their] patients.” He said: “There are some success stories, lots of work in progress and also some very real challenges that we have begun tackling.”

    Expert opinion


    Sally Green, who works for Medical Accident Group, said: “I do believe the Trust is trying to improve, but sadly it is against the odds. The CQC report identified the need for a better system to ensure sufficient numbers of staff, because low staffing levels often lead to mistakes being made and to delays. But in a health care system that is struggling for money, this will be hard to achieve.”

    At Medical Accident Group we deal with many cases where patients have suffered as a result of negligent delays. If you believe you have a claim, call our team on 0800 050 1668 or email us at [email protected]


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