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Thursday, 2 June 2011

What a week for healthcare

Whilst we wait with bated breath to see what happens about Southern Cross and all their care homes, we have had the traumatic scenes of the treatment meted out to the clients of Winterbourne View Hospital for People with Learning Difficulties, near Bristol, and today we're told the CQC have tipped off the police about the Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire.

What a week; in the meantime I have been working along with 30 colleagues on looking at ways we can further develop the quality of care we deliver using personalisation as a starting place.
I guess we're lucky to be employed by an independent sector charity who want to develop and encourage the staff to do the same. It doesn't always feel like the whole charity are behind us but for those tasked with delivering the care ot our clients that kind of atmosphere is necessary to maximise the benefits to the patients and staff and reduce the risks of something going wrong.

Southern Cross is a classic case of market forces doing their natural thing; it remains to be seen how this will pan out.
Whilst details around the Pilgrim Hospital are lacking it must be serious to warrant police involvement. Whether it is one person or a system that is at fault we'll have to see.
Winterbourne View is in a league of its own; in terms of management failure; cultural failings in terms of acceptable care as well as an apparent lack of diligence by the CQC in the area.
When will people in positions of responsibility for quality and ensuring the safety of the vulnerable in our care take up even the slightest hint of wrongdoing and investigate thoroughly.
The principle of the CQC is OK; it remains to see if it was a local failling or so big a failure to warrant changes ot the way it is run.
My own experiences do not bode well for it's reputation as efficient and speedy to respond in setting up new managers, vetting and the other tasks necessary to monitor the quality of healthcare. Mainly because it does not seem to have sufficient numbers of inspectors to do the unannounced visits we should all be ready for and wary of, lest failings are exposed.
It's like driving - the more police officers about in marked vehicles on the road - the better we all are.
Let us not forget the duty of care we owe to those who use our services; that quality is worth investing in and let us see a thorough investigation into what has occurred with proper penalties imposed on those who are accountable for what has occurred.

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