Hospital given clean bill of health

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CHILDREN’S services at Milton Keynes Hospital have been given the stamp of approval by national regulators.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) had initially expressed concerns about the services, following an inspection in July 2011. Overall the CQC said the hospital was providing “safe quality care, treatment and support”, and said the feedback from patients and their families was very good. However the CQC wanted the hospital to look at the training given to staff and to avoid treating young teenagers on adult wards.

The hospital has been working through a programme of improvements, and the CQC is pleased to see the changes now in place.

Tony Halton, Director of Nursing, said: “We understand that coming into hospital can be a difficult time, particularly our younger patients. That is why we need to do everything we can to take care of them and make the experience as pleasant as we can.

“We’ve always had a lot of good feedback from young patients and their families, and now they are even happier than ever. Of course it is important that the CQC recognises that everything is being done properly, so we are very happy with today’s announcement, but what makes us really happy is knowing we are giving our young patients the service they want and need.”

The hospital was measured in four areas of its care for children. The CQC was looking at the care and welfare of people who use the hospital’s services, safeguarding people who use services from abuse, staffing and supporting staff. The hospital met the required standards in all four areas.

Improvements recognised by the CQC include:

· Setting up a dedicated children’s A&E, which opened in February 2012

· Books and toys have been provided for young patients

· All children up to the age of 15 years and 364 days have been cared for on children’s wards since November 2011,

· 16-18 year olds are still admitted to adult wards, but are monitored daily via the ‘Daily Alert’ system to ensure their needs are met.

· Two new beds specifically for very sick (High Dependency) children were set up in October 2011

· Additional equipment has been purchased, building work undertaken and nurses recruited, to increase to four High Dependency beds during winter months

· Ten new nurses have been recruited (whole time equivalent), ensuring the hospital has one member of staff for every two High Dependency children

· More than 95 per cent of the relevant nursing staff had received safeguarding children training, as had more than 80% of other staff

· 86 per cent of the A&E clinical team have received higher level safeguarding children, 90% of all A&E registered nurses are trained in Paediatric Intermediate Life Support (PILS) and 100% of the A&E senior sisters are trained in European Paediatric Life Support (EPLS).

· There is a named nurse system for theatres recovery, to ensure that after surgery children’s’ needs are met by an appropriately qualified nurse

· Mandatory training is now a key performance indicator, which is reported monthly to the Executive Team. It is also monitored as part of staff appraisals.

In summary, the inspectors said the hospital was “meeting all the essential standards of quality and safety.”