NHS Forth Valley placed in special measures over leadership



NHS Forth Valley has been placed into special measures by the Scottish Government amid concerns over “leadership, governance and culture”. 

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said the decision had been taken to escalate the health board to Stage Four with immediate effect amid particularly poor performance in areas including A&E waiting times and GP out of hours services, and a failure to make required safety improvements at Forth Valley Royal following criticism by inspectors. 

Stage Four means that the Government will have “direct formal oversight” in the running of NHS Forth Valley through an Assurance Board, which will be chaired by Christine McLaughlin – the Scottish Government’s chair of population health

READ MORE: Tayside, Forth Valley, and the truth about Scotland’s ‘best’ and ‘worst’ performing A&E departments

Mr Yousaf said the Scottish Government had been “engaging with NHS Forth Valley for some time on a range of performance-related issues”, but that “ongoing concerns” about safety had been highlighted during a number of unannounced inspections to Forth Valley Royal in Lambert by Healthcare Improvement Scotland

Mr Yousaf said: “HIS have escalated their concerns to the Scottish Government as they have not seen the required improvements at Forth Valley since the initial inspection.”

A report on the most recent inspection of the hospital is expected to be published by HIS “in the coming weeks”, said Mr Yousaf.

The most recent HIS report, published in June, highlighted problems including a fifth bed being added to some four-bed bays to increase capacity and the use of treatment rooms as non-standard care areas for inpatients. 

Inspectors said clinical teams “expressed feelings of frustrations at staffing levels and the senior leadership decision-making…which they believed left wards short of staff and unsupported”. 

Vacancies were also high – at over 10 per cent for registered nurses and nearly 14% for doctors. 

READ MORE: Debate future of NHS or face inevitable slide into privatisation by stealth

Mr Yousaf said the Government was also concerned about the “sustainability and integration” of GP out of hours services in the region; “consistently poor A&E performance” against the four-hour standard; and “issues relating to the integration of social care”. 

He added: “While poor performance in any of these discrete areas is of concern, I expect effective governance and strong leadership and improved culture to deliver sustainable change.

“Unfortunately I’ve not seen the necessary leadership required to drive improvement in these areas of concern.”





Source link

NHS Forth Valley placed in special measures



NHS Forth Valley has been placed into special measures by the Scottish Government amid concerns over “leadership, governance and culture”. 

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said the decision had been taken to escalate the health board to Stage Four with immediate effect amid particularly poor performance in areas including A&E waiting times and GP out of hours services, and a failure to make required safety improvements at Forth Valley Royal following criticism by inspectors. 

Stage Four means that the Government will have “direct formal oversight” in the running of NHS Forth Valley through an Assurance Board, which will be chaired by Christine McLaughlin – the Scottish Government’s chair of population health

READ MORE: Tayside, Forth Valley, and the truth about Scotland’s ‘best’ and ‘worst’ performing A&E departments

Mr Yousaf said the Scottish Government had been “engaging with NHS Forth Valley for some time on a range of performance-related issues”, but that “ongoing concerns” about safety had been highlighted during a number of unannounced inspections to Forth Valley Royal in Lambert by Healthcare Improvement Scotland

Mr Yousaf said: “HIS have escalated their concerns to the Scottish Government as they have not seen the required improvements at Forth Valley since the initial inspection.”

A report on the most recent inspection of the hospital is expected to be published by HIS “in the coming weeks”, said Mr Yousaf.

The most recent HIS report, published in June, highlighted problems including a fifth bed being added to some four-bed bays to increase capacity and the use of treatment rooms as non-standard care areas for inpatients. 

Inspectors said clinical teams “expressed feelings of frustrations at staffing levels and the senior leadership decision-making…which they believed left wards short of staff and unsupported”. 

Vacancies were also high – at over 10 per cent for registered nurses and nearly 14% for doctors. 

READ MORE: Debate future of NHS or face inevitable slide into privatisation by stealth

Mr Yousaf said the Government was also concerned about the “sustainability and integration” of GP out of hours services in the region; “consistently poor A&E performance” against the four-hour standard; and “issues relating to the integration of social care”. 

He added: “While poor performance in any of these discrete areas is of concern, I expect effective governance and strong leadership and improved culture to deliver sustainable change.

“Unfortunately I’ve not seen the necessary leadership required to drive improvement in these areas of concern.”





Source link

Queen Elizabeth University Hospital cladding to be removed



A £33million project to remove fire-risk cladding from Glasgow’s super-hospital is to get under way.

Work to take away panels from the atrium of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital will start on Monday and is expected to be completed in 2027.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said the cost of the work is being supported by the Scottish Government, and makes up part of the multi-million pound legal claim which is currently being pursued by the health board.

The health board is suing the contractor, Multiplex, for £73 million over the construction of the £842m campus, which includes the Royal Hospital for Children, amid a raft of problems at the facility including defective windows.

Alasdair Perry, Deputy Assistant Chief Officer for Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said the fire risk was established at “an early stage” and it had advised the health board to remove the panels as soon as practicable.

Patients, visitors and staff are being warned to expect some disruption to their usual routes through the hospital, seating and waiting areas, and catering facilities.

NHS GCC said the project has undergone an extensive and robust process of planning to strike a balance between expediting removal and replacement and minimising disruption within the atrium.

It moved to reassure the public that the building had been assessed as safe.

Professor Tom Steele, Director of Estates and Facilities at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to patients, visitors and staff.

“As the atrium is the central access point for the hospital, there will inevitably be some disruption.

“However, we would like to reassure everybody who uses the QEUH that throughout the period of work we will continue to provide high-quality patient-centred care to our patients. There may be some changes to waiting areas, but all clinics and wards will remain open.

“We would like to thank patients, visitors and staff for their patience and understanding while this essential work is carried out.”

Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Alasdair Perry, Head of Prevention and Protection for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We regularly work with partners, including NHSGGC, to advise on fire safety matters and were sighted early on the fire risk relating to the panels used as wall lining within the atrium of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

“Our advice was to remove this material as soon as reasonably practicable and replace with wall lining materials that reduce the fire risk.

“We welcome the steps taken to achieve that, and the actions taken demonstrate that NHSGGC has implemented the appropriate steps to mitigate the risk until the removal work can be completed.

“Ultimately we are satisfied that the hospital can still safely operate and any risk to patients and the local community is low.”

In December 2019, lawyers were instructed to take legal action against the contractor “as a matter of urgency”.

NHS GGC said at the time that several problems have compromised the hospital’s “operational effectiveness” since it opened in 2015, and this had “impacted on the seamless delivery of safe and effective healthcare”.

The move followed the news of the death of two children at the Royal Hospital for Children in 2017 who were treated on a ward that was affected by water contamination.

Court papers have been lodged for a separate claim related to the system that controls the temperature of the hospital.

Official documents show NHSGGC is seeking an additional £18.2m for problems with the chilled water system, which uses water instead of air to cool larger buildings.





Source link

Could new water invention effectively tackle climate change?


UK inventor Gérard St Guillaume outlines an innovative new concept that could one day help alleviate the threat climate change currently presents to global water supplies

“Drastic times call for drastic measures, and as COP27 takes place I believe it is the right time to reveal what I believe could be a solution to many of the world’s water shortage issues.

“Around 700 million people in 43 countries suffer today from water scarcity.  By 2025, 1.8 billion people could possibly be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population may be living under water stressed conditions.

“With the existing climate change scenario, almost half the world’s population will be living in areas of high-water stress by 2030, including between 75 million and 250 million people in Africa. In addition, water scarcity in some arid and semi-arid places will displace between 24 million and 700 million people.

“Enough is enough. With The GSG Water project, I believe I have produced an effective solution that may make a genuine difference to the climate change crisis. I am now looking for investors to back me on this project and make a positive difference to the world.

HeraldScotland:

“Not only could this possibly help with global water shortages and droughts, I believe it could also effectively bring domestic water costs down too.

“All that needs is for investors to come together and form a climate pact regarding The GSG Water Project.

“The concept is to provide customers with different products that would provide a way of collecting rain water through a man-made guttering system at an angle into a container – and could be easily fitted to vehicles such as cars or trucks.  (© 3rd February 2020 Gerard Saint Guillaume.)

“All components are already on the market and being sold separately, all that remains is for the combination of products to be put together in such a way that there is a working prototype for mass production.         

“It’s not rocket science by any stretch of the imagination. The concept can also be used for so many different applications that the product line is only limited to one’s imagination.

“Leaders of the world and entrepreneurs must start thinking about elevating the suffering of the poor on a grand scale, with collaborations such as my own.”

  • For more information on investment opportunities, contact Gérard on Twitter @GerardSaintG or at www.linkedin.com/in/gguillaume
    email: gsaintg@yahoo.co.uk

© 3rd February 2020 Gerard Saint Guillaume

 





Source link

The 1948 NHS is dead. We must now follow the European model


IN May 2000 I wrote a letter to The Herald asking “when therefore will our politicians come clean and admit that our unique NHS is now time-expired?”

Clearly this diagnosis was premature, but prophetic, and my suggested remedy prescient. This was to adopt a European model where tax-funded health care was supplemented by a mix of social and top-up private insurance, but still providing universal health care.

Competition drives up standards, bureaucracy is kept to a minimum, and health service staff are independent of government control. Unless, however, the public are prepared to accept Scandinavian levels of taxation, there is clearly no prospect of the NHS and social care receiving the necessary funding in the years to come. Most politicians have known this for some time, but have demeaned their profession by pretending otherwise. Many doctors have realised this recently, but for reasons about which I can only conjecture, have chosen not to comment on possible solutions other than ever more money from the Treasury.

Today’s suggestion that the “wealthy” might pay some of the costs of their health care (“Using the NHS will stay free, insists Sturgeon”, The Herald, November 22) suggests an ill-thought-out panic response, when a considered transition to the much more effective European model should be the response.The International Health Care Outcomes Index 2022 reveals that despite average funding levels, UK health care outcomes are near the bottom of a league table of 18 comparator countries; the NHS is an institution crying out for reform. However, with the intellectually limited and politically inept SNP in charge in Scotland, any transformation of health care could be problematic.

Public opposition to the use of private money in the NHS has long been vocal but illogical, with PPI procurement contributing, and spending on private health services increased throughout this century. However, I remember performing operations in Glasgow’s private hospitals at weekends when “waiting list initiatives” introduced by New Labour permitted patients on NHS waiting lists to have their procedures carried out sooner in the private sector, and I only recall one patient declining.

The consultant contract of 2003, a Faustian pact, replaced an open-ended contract with a time-sensitive one defined by job plans. The GP contract removed the requirement to provide out of hours services, and the fragmentation of a unified NHS began. It is time now to accept that the 1948 design is indeed time-expired, a two-tier system now exists, and to adopt a European model with better health care outcomes.
John Sinclair, retired consultant surgeon, Milngavie

Take charge of our own health

MOST developed countries already have a two-tier system based on free care for all topped up by private insurance – and better health care, Germany being a prime example.

But they are not imprisoned in a free, all you can eat NHS guarded by a herd of sacred cows whose cost, in real terms, has almost trebled in real terms from £74bn in 2019 to £193bn today.

On the assumption that Humza Yousaf doesn’t intend landing some people with the whole bill for their treatment, why doesn’t he put out a challenge to our world-beating insurance industry to come up with a Scottish Government-underwritten scheme that could also be sold across the UK?

In terms of reducing demand these schemes normally come with regular, mandatory health checks in order to reduce their, and the patient’s, risk of illness. In fact, why not make that mandatory for all NHS patients?

Scotland has the highest rate of preventable deaths in the UK – 40% higher, in fact – mostly due to obesity, drugs, smoking and alcohol.

If everyone had a five-minute session with a practice nurse who did a basic check on blood pressure, blood sugar, weight and other vital signs and issued advice, surely enough people would have the common sense to take action that would improve and save their lives, reduce the cost of the NHS and improve the service.

I don’t actually know why I bother writing, because it’s clear no politician, in Scotland or the UK, is willing to take the flak and endanger his party’s electoral chances by advocating what is, after, people taking responsibility for their own lives.
Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven

Time to introduce benefits in kind

THERE are obviously many problems with the NHS which I have no ideas about. However, the idea that we might get the better-off to pay more for the service is one that I agree with. This could be done through taxation by making the NHS, prescriptions and care at home benefits in kind. Building this into the tax system it would mean those who could afford it would be partly paying for their benefits but keeping the principle of free at the point of service and yet those with the broadest shoulders will pay a bit more.

I know that when I was working the private health cover I had was charged quite steeply as a benefit in kind. The option of opting out would need to be addressed but could be handled.
Jim McAdam, Maidens

No reason for the disparity

WHEN faced with a dilemma it’s always a good policy to stand back and look at things in the round rather than focusing on the current aspect of the problem. The NHS is in crisis and the consensus is that it is understaffed and underfunded; conversely the private health sector is blossoming. The bottom line is that there is no reason why this disparity should exist. It hasn’t happened by accident, it has been a deliberate choice foisted on us by successive Westminster administrations. Holyrood may allocate the budget but Westminster decides how much it is.

Why do we have an NHS, because it’s actually only a few decades old? The answer is simply that after two successive world wars the Establishment realised that in order to placate a populace that was at the end of its tether major societal changes were required, hence free healthcare was one of the changes introduced. A dispassionate analysis of subsequent events from the Thatcher era onwards shows a gradual withdrawal of all the post-war sops that were given to the general public to keep them docile and compliant. Talk of a “two-tier” NHS is just another step in conditioning the great unwashed to accept the eventual dismantling of the NHS which will be accelerated by the period of recession and austerity the UK now faces.

The distribution of wealth in the UK and the grip that gives the Establishment over the so-called democratic processes at Westminster will ensure that while the Chancellor of the Exchequer reduces the tax burden on the banking system, the NHS withers and dies.
David J Crawford, Glasgow

Where is the leadership?

IT is appalling that a group of senior executives consider it legitimate to attack the very essence of our health service. The future of our health service is for the people of Scotland to decide, represented by their Government.

The term leadership bears no meaning associated by a group of highly-paid technocrats failing in managing our health services.

I have recently retired after a long period of time as a chief executive, latterly in NSW Australia. The service in Australia is in many aspects remarkable. However, paying for visits to the GP, paying for prescriptions and requiring insurance for diagnostics and elective surgery drives inequalities. If you claim the title leader then stand up and be held to account, not sit in an unelected huddle dreaming up ideas that strike at the heart of our NHS. This unwelcome and largely ludicrous intervention needs to be addressed.

The position of the chief executive of the NHS in Scotland is untenable.
Gerry Marr, Glasgow

Celebrate a great service

CATRIONA C Clark (Letters, November 22) makes the valid point that before prescription charges were abolished by the SNP Government many people had to choose which medication was the most necessary; now that is no longer the case, to the benefit of their health.

I appreciate that not everyone will have had my positive experience, but over recent weeks I’ve twice contacted my GP surgery on a Monday and been given appointments two days later. Thank you to Park Avenue surgery in Stirling. Last week I had to attend the Cardiology Unit at Forth Valley hospital for a “procedure” and again everything went exactly to time with no signs of stress from the excellent professionals who attended to me. I don’t dispute that there are challenges all across the NHS but I think it is also important to celebrate the wonderful service that is provided, free at the point of need.
Ruth Marr, Stirling


Read more letters: Is it really so abhorrent to be charging for NHS services?


HeraldScotland:

Letters should not exceed 500 words. We reserve the right to edit submissions.






Source link