Earlier this month we said we hoped the damning report by the Care Quality Commission showing the failings of Queen Alexandra Hospital’s emergency department was the wake-up call needed to see urgent improvements.
When A&E was deemed inadequate in three of the four categories looked at by the CQC, it was obvious to all that things had to change – and fast.
In fact they were so concerning that an enforcement notice was issued with changes the trust had to make.
One of those included sending data to the CQC every day that looked at statistics such as assessment targets and waiting times.
Under new interim chief executive Tim Powell, positive steps have already been taken by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, including the appointment of Dr Rob Haigh to oversee the emergency department and starting a short-stay centre.
But we said this ought to be just the beginning. So today we are encouraged to report how Mr Powell says there are signs the hospital is improving.
Of course this may owe a lot to the time of year. As Mr Powell says: ‘‘We have seen improvements in the figures but we are not being naive about it.’
It’s still a sign that things are heading in the right direction. Yet he is also under no illusion about the size of the task. He has told a meeting of the Portsmouth health overview and scrutiny panel (Hosp) that the next 100 days will be crucial.
He adds, optimistically: ‘We have got experts working with us who are convinced our Urgent Care Improvement Programme is the right one to implement.’
That is good to hear and we look forward to more positive news coming out of the QA in the weeks and months to come as new plans come into effect.