A LEADING doctor has defended a letter he wrote criticising the head of a hospital trust.
Dr Jim Hogan is the lead of the Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
As reported, he, along with the Fareham and Gosport and South Eastern Hampshire CCGs, wrote to Ursula Ward, chief executive of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital, over concerns in patient care.
In his letter, Dr Hogan said he wanted to ‘express our significant concerns about the capability and the commitment of PHT’s current leadership to deliver the improvements and service transformation that is required for people in Portsmouth’.
And at the Portsmouth CCG’s governing board meeting yesterday, Dr Hogan stood by his letter.
He said: ‘It’s about the future and seeing sustainable changes that give us confidence looking forward.
‘This is about patient care, and what’s happening to patients, who have been reporting problems to us for a long time.
‘So I did therefore, question the commitment of the leadership and make sure services are sustainable going forward.’
The letters were written after CCGs were unhappy with PHT missing national targets in some areas of cancer care, waiting times for elective surgery and in its A&E department.
And October results of the Friends and Family Test – a survey to see if patients would recommend services – found the trust scored the lowest in the country.
But Sue Mullan, co-ordinator of the 38 Degrees NHS monitoring group, said the letter was ‘out of order’.
At the meeting, she said: ‘The letter was very damaging and very negative about the quality of QA management.
‘I want to ask, how did producing that letter help address the problems, when it hasn’t helped staff morale?
‘I hope the CCGs recognise this.
‘I’m 100 per cent confident about the commitment at QA, and feel to question that (commitment) was out of order.’
HEALTHWATCH WELCOMES FURTHER ASSURANCES
A PATIENT watchdog group said it shared concerns raised in letters sent by commissioners to the head of Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Steven Taylor, manager of Healthwatch Portsmouth, said: ‘Our view would be that we share the concerns of the Clinical Commissioning Groups, from seeing the data and feedback.
‘These are well-known issues, and we have been given assurances they are looking into these issues.
‘Any further assurances and action plans given to the CCGs are in the interest of patient care.’
The News ran a story yesterday with Andrew MacDowell defending Ursula Ward. We would like to point out he is not a member of Healthwatch.