James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and The Friarage in Northallerton under microscope after 'failings'

Darlington and Stockton Times: Remedy needed for 'Failing' South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Remedy needed for 'Failing' South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

CASH-strapped South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which includes James Cook in Middlesbrough and The Friarage in Northallerton, has been found in breach of its licence to provide healthcare.

A report published this afternoon by NHS watchdog, Monitor, has revealed leadership, financial and infection control failings following a probe launched in October last year.

Waiting times for routine operations have improved and it now meets all national standards but it is still not hitting its Clostridium Difficile infection target, reporting an increase in the number of cases since 2012/2013. The trust has agreed to take legally binding steps to help it recover.

Frances Shattock, Regional Director at Monitor, said: “This trust has financial and infection control failings that have to be fixed and quickly. We’ve taken action because the trust board has not addressed these risks fully.

“We need to secure quality patient services for the people of Middlesbrough and North Yorkshire for years to come.”

Monitor said initial figures suggested the trust will have a black hole of up to £34.9m in 2014/15 and £52.3m in 2015/16.

Professor Tricia Hart, Chief Executive of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, responded by saying: “The trust has always had a strong focus on providing high quality, safe services – something that has been recognised locally, regionally and nationally – and while we are facing some touch challenges, not least our financial position, our commitment to providing excellent services and care for our patients will not change.

“Our staff have proved time and time again that when things are tough they pull together and get the job done – and I am sure that over the coming months we will demonstrate that same spirit to address these latest challenges.”

Local Labour politicians reacted to the findings by criticising funding cuts made to the NHS.

Blenkinsop MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: “This investigation by Monitor into serious failings at South Tees only serves to highlight the very real pressure and trouble our NHS faces from the Coalition cash axe.

Alex Cunningham, MP for Stockton North, said: “It is a crying shame that whilst billions of pounds were wasted on the Government’s structural reorganisation of the NHS, Trusts like South Tees were being ordered to make tens of millions in unsustainable savings at the same time as treating more patients.

There is, however, no getting away from the failures in leadership there and it is critical that the necessary changes are made quickly and the professional medical staff given the comprehensive support they need to let the infection control ratings sorted."

And James Wharton, Conservative MP for Stockton South, added: “After a thorough review we are already seeing improvement, especially with waiting time targets now being met, but there clearly needs to be a change of approach by management going forward.”

Comments (4)

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6:52pm Wed 2 Jul 14

AllAboardTheSkylark says...

The worrying things is this comes hard on the heels of the announcement that Skelton Medical Centre - which includes a Walk-In Clinic and a GP surgery - Brotton Minor Injuries Unit and Guisborough Minor Injuries Unit are all being closed due to cuts to the NHS budget. Additionally, the Urgent Care Unit at Redcar is being downgraded to "appointment only" treatments.

This will place more strain on an already overstretched facility at James Cook which will now be the only option for people in this part of Teesside.

More reliance on "telephone consultancy" is not an answer, either. My partner recently had an illness which was dismissed over the phone as "a virus". It needed her to actually collapse and physically get in front of a GP before it was diagnosed as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Had she been driving when having an attack of this condition the result could have been fatal.

As for Mr Wharton chiming in - let's not forget he has voted for every single budget cut this government has proposed and also voted for Andrew Lansley's so-called "reforms" which have cost the taxpayer over £3 billion to implement whilst imposing in a real-terms cut in NHS funding, something that Mr Wharton's party deny but a fact that has been confirmed and repeated by the Government's own Office for National Statistics who have even gone as far as to issue a stern written rebuke to David Cameron who continues to lie about NHS funding.

Instead of mumbling platitudes and muttering platitudes about "management", Wharton should hang his head in shame as one of those who has deliberately brought the NHS to crisis point.
The worrying things is this comes hard on the heels of the announcement that Skelton Medical Centre - which includes a Walk-In Clinic and a GP surgery - Brotton Minor Injuries Unit and Guisborough Minor Injuries Unit are all being closed due to cuts to the NHS budget. Additionally, the Urgent Care Unit at Redcar is being downgraded to "appointment only" treatments. This will place more strain on an already overstretched facility at James Cook which will now be the only option for people in this part of Teesside. More reliance on "telephone consultancy" is not an answer, either. My partner recently had an illness which was dismissed over the phone as "a virus". It needed her to actually collapse and physically get in front of a GP before it was diagnosed as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Had she been driving when having an attack of this condition the result could have been fatal. As for Mr Wharton chiming in - let's not forget he has voted for every single budget cut this government has proposed and also voted for Andrew Lansley's so-called "reforms" which have cost the taxpayer over £3 billion to implement whilst imposing in a real-terms cut in NHS funding, something that Mr Wharton's party deny but a fact that has been confirmed and repeated by the Government's own Office for National Statistics who have even gone as far as to issue a stern written rebuke to David Cameron who continues to lie about NHS funding. Instead of mumbling platitudes and muttering platitudes about "management", Wharton should hang his head in shame as one of those who has deliberately brought the NHS to crisis point. AllAboardTheSkylark
  • Score: 2

7:41pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Traser says...

Mr Wharton's government has bled the NHS dry: demanding a £40bn 'efficiency' saving from the NHS. What it means is a £40bn cut to the NHS!

Not content with reducing services to local people, NHS contracts and services are floated off to private companies owned by hedge funds. American financiers making profits from our NHS.

Tories and Lib Dems: hang your heads in shame!
Mr Wharton's government has bled the NHS dry: demanding a £40bn 'efficiency' saving from the NHS. What it means is a £40bn cut to the NHS! Not content with reducing services to local people, NHS contracts and services are floated off to private companies owned by hedge funds. American financiers making profits from our NHS. Tories and Lib Dems: hang your heads in shame! Traser
  • Score: 2

1:37am Thu 3 Jul 14

Jacko60 says...

The Tories spent £3 billion on a top- down reorganisation of the NHS and the result is that those having to wait more than 4 hours for treatment (the standard set by the government) has increased from just over 300,000 to almost 1 million.
What a waste. All they have done is created disorder and chaos in the NHS and replaced one organisational structure with one which is now totally baffling.
Meanwhile cuts to adult social care mean that more pressure is being put on hospitals because elderly patients who should not be in hospital beds have nowhere else to go.
There is another crisis in the NHS just around the corner - but don't expect the Tories to have an answer - other than farm the NHS out chunk by chunk to the private sector.
The Tories spent £3 billion on a top- down reorganisation of the NHS and the result is that those having to wait more than 4 hours for treatment (the standard set by the government) has increased from just over 300,000 to almost 1 million. What a waste. All they have done is created disorder and chaos in the NHS and replaced one organisational structure with one which is now totally baffling. Meanwhile cuts to adult social care mean that more pressure is being put on hospitals because elderly patients who should not be in hospital beds have nowhere else to go. There is another crisis in the NHS just around the corner - but don't expect the Tories to have an answer - other than farm the NHS out chunk by chunk to the private sector. Jacko60
  • Score: 2

5:08pm Thu 3 Jul 14

hullgodfreyshire says...

the simple answer is IF YOU STEAL THE MONEY YOU WILL NOT GET THE SERVICE, Next time you vote VOTE HAGUE THE LYING VAGUE OUT,
the simple answer is IF YOU STEAL THE MONEY YOU WILL NOT GET THE SERVICE, Next time you vote VOTE HAGUE THE LYING VAGUE OUT, hullgodfreyshire
  • Score: 2

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