Childrenâ€™s Hospital boss hits back at critical report11th November 2008
The embattled boss of Birmingham Childrenâ€™s Hospital yesterday insisted: â€śWe are not a third world hospitalâ€ť.
Chief executive Paul Oâ€™Connor was speaking as he fights to save the hospitalâ€™s reputation after a damning report highlighted a catalogue of failings.
Transplant consultants at Edgbastonâ€™s Queen Elizabeth Hospital claimed there were a series of failings at the Childrenâ€™s Hospital culminating from an alleged â€ślack of clinical leadershipâ€ť.
Issues included too few beds, operations interrupted because theatre staff could not recognise surgical instruments, lack of confidence in management and severely ill patients having to wait weeks to be admitted because of unnecessary delays.
The specialists, who operate at the Childrenâ€™s Hospital, claimed their warnings fell on deaf ears and described treatment as â€śthird classâ€ť and worse than in a developing African country.
It led to consultants refusing to travel to the Childrenâ€™s Hospital until the patient had been called into theatre because of delays.
The move prompted an NHS investigation by Birminghamâ€™s Primary Care Trusts (PCT) into the liver and kidney transplant, brain surgery, face deformity, vascular and interventional radiology departments.
PCT officers ruled immediate action needed to be taken to address long waiting lists made worse by a severe shortage of beds, incidents not being reported and emergency patients being sent to hospitals as far away as Leeds due to no theatre radiologist on site.
Mr Oâ€™Connor said problems were being addressed and insisted likening hospital services to the third world was unfair and â€śblatantly not trueâ€ť.
â€śI endorse and accept the formal report by the PCTs into problems and we are addressing those operational issues through an action plan, but I donâ€™t accept a separate leaked report by consultants,â€ť said Mr Oâ€™Connor. â€śThat statement about a developing country by an anonymous clinician is the thing that most upsets doctors here. Staff here are very upset and it is blatantly not true.
â€śIt does not reflect the very high standard of clinical care we give at this, a pioneering specialist childrenâ€™s hospital. We have 150 consultants and the vast majority are affronted by this comment.â€ť
Mr Oâ€™Connor added projects were under way to build an improved renal ward, a teenage cancer suite and to expand the liver unit.
The investigation found management problems running through each department of a lack of planning for beds, problems with medical staffing and not being compliant with new junior doctor working hours, a need for more service planning, out of date procedures and policies and poor equipment provision.
Consultants had criticised the renal transplant department saying there were times when patients were brought to theatre before the donor organ was examined, leading to the patient being sent back to the ward.
On liver transplant procedures, the doctors claimed: â€śPaediatrics is getting a third class service.â€ť
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Title: Childrenâ€™s Hospital boss hits back at critical report
Author: Anne Waller
Article Id: 9157
Date Added: 11th Nov 2008