“Complacent” Hospital Boss Quizzed by Council

THE FORMER Mayor of Thurrock Council described Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital as nothing short of “catastrophic” at a special meeting of the Health and Well-Being Committee last night.

Cllr John Everett addressed the Chief Executive Alan Whittle and his senior colleagues who had been summoned to the Thurrock Council chamber.

Cllr Everett said: “The whole findings were beyond belief. If this was private industry then someone would have been shown the door.”

The comments came amidst a meeting that was light on rancour but nevertheless saw several serious criticisms leveled at the beleaguered hospital that had been slammed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last year for several failings including:

1. a poor care environment;
2. inadequate arrangements to treat children; and
3. poor nursing care.

Chief Executive Alan Whittle went at length to explain many of the findings from the CQC report but accepted that he was “appalled at CQC’s findings.”

Mr Whittle went on to detail a series of improvements in place and about to be implemented including:

a. a new children’s unit worth £17 million would be finished in two years and that it would improve conditions.
b. extra senior doctors appointed
c. ensure clinical data captured is correct.

Councilor Tony Fish wasn’t convinced. He said: “Recognising that there is an issue is when the lessons start. There is still a feeling that Mr Whittle is somewhat complacent.”

Director of Quality & Nursing for South West Essex Primary Care Trust, Barbara Stuttle CBE promised to “Get back into uniform and walk the wards while Senior Consultants in attendance were also keen to point out that the number of “ward walks” had increased dramatically.

Head of the committee, Cllr Wendy Herd, recommended that monthly hospital reports should be presented to Thurrock Council and a special meeting would take place next month.

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