Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust is to face a raft of reviews into its services and operations in response to public concerns about high death rates and poor hygiene standards.
Tameside has been under pressure from the local media and patient groups after it received a poor showing in the Dr Foster Hospital Guide 2009 and an unannounced CQC inspection in December found evidence the trust had breached guidelines on the prevention of healthcare associated infections.
Four Labour MPs – Andrew Gwynne, David Heyes, James Purnell and Tom Levitt – demanded management changes earlier this month (news, 11 February, page 9).
The strategic health authority will also carry out a separateassessment of commissioning by the local primary are trust, NHS Tameside and Glossop, including whether it has ensured that the acute trust has performed against its contract.
Additionally, the Care Quality Commission said it is to build a review of patient services into its consideration of the foundation trust’s application to join the regulator’s new register. It has requested additional evidence on areas of particular concern, such as infection control.
CQC regional director for the North West Sue McMillan said: “We are increasingly aware of the public concern and we want to ensure we take full account of this as we consider the trust’s application to register.”
NHS North West chief executive Mike Farrar said: “We are aware that in many respects Tameside Hospital has made significant progress in areas relating to its reduction of waiting times and healthcare associated infections in recent months.
“However, there remains a section of the public who say they are unconvinced and are still voicing their concerns, in particular with regards to the hospital’s high standardised mortality rates.”
Monitor’s chief operating officer Stephen Hay added: “These measures will serve to highlight any issues that need to be addressed so the trust can start to rebuild public confidence in their local hospital.”
Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust chief executive Christine Green said she was “very aware” of public concern and wanted to reassure patients. She said: “We know that this will be an open and transparent process which will highlight any further work which needs to be taken.”