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NHS Lanarkshire must make urgent improvements

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

A recent review carried out by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) has revealed worryingly high death rates in NHS Lanarkshire hospitals. The health board has been urged to make drastic improvements as numerous problems have been highlighted by inspectors; including low levels of staffing, poor provision of care and inaccurate patient record keeping.

Although inspectors found no definite contributory factors towards the board’s above-average hospital death rates, multiple problems have been uncovered. As a result of probing Wishaw, Monklands and Hairmyers Hospitals, inspectors made 21 recommendations to improve standards. A government-appointed team will now work with the hospitals to ensure that changes are made immediately.

The Health Secretary Alex Neil commissioned the review by Healthcare Improvement Scotland in August, after documents were published illuminating particularly high mortality rates in Monklands and Wishaw Hospitals.

The key recommendations made by HIS included:

  • Improved patient support
  • Stronger leadership
  • Safer nurse staffing levels
  • Sustainable medical staffing
  • Improved emergency patients admission
  • Greater accountability

The review team, which was headed by Robbie Pearson from HIS, gathered information by listening to the experiences of over 300 patients and carers, more than 200 health board staff, and they additionally reviewed over 150 patient records. The research found that even though staff were working hard to provide top quality care, their environment made this difficult. NHS Scotland’s clinical director Prof Jason Leitch said:

NHS Lanarkshire, working with this expert team, are now urgently working on an action plan to address the issues highlighted in the rapid review.

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