It is hoped that the scheme will target problems identified by the Keogh report such as chronic understaffing and a lack of clear strategy, and our hope as medical negligence solicitors is that this will in turn see an immediate improvement in overall standards of care for patients and families.
Under the scheme, the best NHS management personnel will work to train, mentor and motivate those hospitals struggling to facilitate adequate care. It’s a logical move, but there are reasonable concerns surrounding the new process. What happens to our best hospitals once their managers are removed? And is a decline in standards at the top of the ladder worth a chance of improvement at the bottom?
With a view to sharing expertise and improving the wider healthcare culture, it is certainly worthwhile pursuing the scheme as a hands-on, practical solution. Diverting the best managers away from their own immediate working environment could have a negative impact, so progress must be closely monitored. As solicitors, our interest is in a system that boosts underperforming trusts and improves transparency in the NHS.
The new scheme coincides with the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) launch of a series of inspections targeting hospitals in need of acute reform. Both plans offer hope to the patients and families affected by negligent care that things can be improved for others, and are especially gratifying to those individuals who have shared their own stories in an effort to campaign for change.