A core function of the CCG is to ensure the services we commission are safe and of high quality, and that patients and their families have a good experience when they use the NHS.
As part of our quality activity we do ‘deep dive’ quality assurance visits on providers. This involves cross-checking multiple sources of information such as complaints data, the public voice, performance, incidents, infection rates and staffing ratios. Our quality programmes link with Healthwatch, the Care Quality Commission and Monitor.
With regard to general practice, we use an online reporting system called Datix to monitor incidents and concerns. Each practice is required to produce a quality improvement plan to demonstrate year-on-year quality improvements. This is published on their websites.
Like all CCGs, we spent much time reviewing the recommendations of the Francis Report that resulted from the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry. We are responsible for ensuring that all of our contracted providers have action plans in place relating to the Francis recommendations, and have developed an action plan to ensure all recommendations are implemented locally.
The key points from this action plan can be found below. Regular updates are provided to the Governing Body and are available on our website.
As a result of the Francis Report, the Government analysed hospital death rates and found that 14 hospital trusts, including Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, had consistently high rates over a two-year period. In June 2013 Blackpool Teaching Hospitals was subject to a Keogh investigation visit to review the care and treatment being provided. While it was recognised that death rates may serve as a warning sign, the review also looked at wider potential problems affecting the quality of patient care and treatment.
This valuable review highlighted a number of areas where the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals was performing well, along with areas to focus on to improve standards. In addition to this, in April 2014 the Care Quality Commission (CQC) concluded that Blackpool Victoria Hospital ‘required improvement’ following an inspection in January 2014. The CQC identified areas for improvement, many of which the trust is already working and making progress on.
As CCGs, we are accountable to NHS England for monitoring and ensuring implementation of Keogh and CQC action plans, and work collaboratively with other external regulators such as Monitor and the CQC.
We recognise the majority of care provided at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals involves great compassion and care and nurses, doctors and staff are working incredibly hard in a challenging environment. We will continue to support the trust to implement in full the Keogh and CQC recommendations, and also recognise that some key areas are relevant to the whole Fylde Coast economy and not solely the responsibility of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals.