Venue: County Hall
Contact: Emma James / Jo Weston Overview and Scrutiny Officers
Apologies and Welcome
Apologies had been received from Ms P Agar, Mr A Stafford and Mr C B Taylor.
Declarations of Interest and of any Party Whip
Members of the public wishing to take part should notify the Democratic Governance and Scrutiny Manager (Interim monitoring Officer) in writing or by email indicating the nature and content of their proposed participation no later than 9.00am on the working day before the meeting (in this case 28 February 2020). Enquiries can be made through the telephone number/email address below.
Confirmation of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting
Subject to the following amendment, the Minutes from the Meeting held on 27 January 2020 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Add the following sentence at the end of the Minute:
The HOSC supported the Clinical Strategy but was concerned about the Trust’s need for Capital investment to deliver its objectives.
The Chairman invited the Democratic Governance and Scrutiny Manager to outline the purpose and format of the meeting; namely that:
· the purpose of the meeting was to better understand the reasons for poor performance of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, in particular but not exclusively, in Accident and Emergency (A&E); and
· to better understand the impact on, and roles of, commissioners and health and social care providers in the County.
Representatives from all Worcestershire health and social care partners had been invited to the meeting and the Committee heardfrom each organisation in turn, starting and ending with Representatives from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT)
Matthew Hopkins, Chief Executive
Mike Hallissey, Chief Medical Officer
Vicky Morris, Chief Nursing Officer
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) had, at its last unannounced inspection in December 2019, served a Section 31 notice on the Emergency Department at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Worcester and the Emergency Department at the Alexandra Hospital, Redditch. This level of notice was one of the highest the CQC, as regulator, could serve and had been a result of poor performance. As a consequence, immediate actions were required to improve elements, such as waiting times, ambulance handovers, privacy and dignity. There had also been a surge of paediatric attendances in November 2019 and safety concerns had also been raised.
When the CQC had carried out their inspections in May 2019 (report published September 2019), the procedures and practices were the same as in December 2019.
In the ensuing discussion, the following points were made:
· When asked whether standards had altered between the May and December 2019 Inspections, it was clarified that the standard operating procedure was the same
· Staffing levels were a concern to the CQC, reflected in references to care in the corridor and consultant cover. The lack of a permanent presence of paediatric nurse expertise in the Emergency Department had been highlighted during the inspection visit and the Chief Executive explained that this had been addressed immediately, in line with the Section 31 actions
· Likewise, the lack of space and the use of space was highlighted. In response to a Member question, WAHT acknowledged that capacity continued to be a challenge, especially when the Worcestershire Royal Hospital had seen an 8% increase in attendances year on year since being built in 2002. The Chief Executive, with the support of local colleagues and MPs, had written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care seeking capital funding to expand the Emergency Departments at both sites; in the meantime, a ‘sticking plaster’ approach was being taken
· The Trust was near to requiring a dedicated Emergency Department for paediatric patients
· In comparison to other regional and national Acute Trusts, WAHT was not alone in receiving Section 31 notices from CQC
· An indicative £40m Capital funding bid had been made, to include the expansion of Emergency Departments on both acute hospital sites, increasing the size of both the Medical Assessment Unit and ... view the full minutes text for item 967.