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Hospital watchdog identifies a ‘huge variation’ in hospital care

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

England’s health watchdog chairman said that there is a ‘huge variation’ in the care provided by England’s hospitals, with some that “you would not want to go to as a patient”.  David Prior said that the Care Quality Commision (CQC) was shocked by the findings as care standards varied greatly between individual hospital trusts.

Mr Prior said during an interview, which marked his first year with the CQC, that some hospitals had a culture in which staff felt that they couldn’t raise concerns, and where patients felt that they weren’t being listened to.  The interviewer proceeded to ask Mr Prior which specific hospitals he would not attend, to which he replied that the CQC had identified a number of trusts as “inadequate”; two particular hospitals that he did mention included Barking Havering & Redbridge and Heatherwood & Wexham Park.

‘Failings hospitals are down to poor leadership’

Mr Prior did say that the poor care standards did not necessarily involve all the departments of the “inadequate” hospitals.  He said: “There are some A&E departments you would not want to go to and others have got poor maternity departments but those would be two hospital [trusts] that overall would come out to be inadequate.

Mr Prior identified one particular reason behind most of the failing hospitals: poor leadership.  The CQC is due to begin its “formal consultation” next week, which will look at ways to improve failing hospitals, and draw up new detailed guidelines about ratings and inspections.

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