Lincolnshire

Local Democracy Weekly: ULHT – Waiting on the inspectors

Two months ago, the former chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust said the organisation was in a “better position” and that he was “confident” that health inspectors would see a better trust next time they visited.

Jan Sobieraj, who has since retired and left the organisation in June, said the special measures situation that ULHT was in showed that officials recognised the challenges that the trust was in.

Fast forward two months and we have had a taster of what those recent Care Quality Commission visits could report.


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In July, a feedback letter to the trust from health inspectors found “concerns over culture”, particularly on bullying.

The trust’s leadership reiterated that they take concerns over bullying “very seriously”. Dr Neill Hepburn, medical director at ULHT, described it as “totally unacceptable”.

Emergency departments were still a concern for inspectors at both Lincoln County Hospital and Boston Pilgrim Hospital.

And, as always, staffing levels have been raised in the feedback reports.

Andrew Morgan (second from right), the new chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust. Photo: Lincolnshire Reporter

But, it’s not just the amount of staff that have concerned inspectors. The morale of those who work in Lincolnshire’s hospitals surfaced this week.

Not only does new chief executive, Andrew Morgan, have a hospital trust under special measures to contend with, CQC officials have found that staff feel “overworked” and have low satisfaction.

The feedback reports tell much of the same story for the county’s hospitals.

A trust under pressure, emergency departments struggling and staff feeling the effects of that.

Boston Pilgrim Hospital. Picture: Steve Smailes

Improvements have been made in areas such as maternity and managing risk in children’s services.

But, what the reports don’t tell us is whether the trust has done enough to finally step out of special measures.

That will become clear when the formal report is published and the full picture can be painted.

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