King’s Mill among UKs troubled hospitals

King's Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-Ashfield (2010)
King's Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-Ashfield (2010)

King’s Mill Hospital joins the ranks of Britain’s poorly medical centres as a new rating system reveals the vast majority of them are under-performing.

The State of Care Report by health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission was released yesterday, revealing a crisis in Britain’s hospitals as its new Ofsted-style rating system gradually assesses every trust in the UK.

So far some two thirds of NHS trusts have been reviewed, and in what is described as an ‘alarming’ failure, the results show that 76 per cent are either ‘inadequate’ or ‘requiring improvement’, while only two in the country have achieved ‘outstanding’ ratings.

The CQC said: “This is the first time such a national assessment has been possible following CQC’s introduction of a tough, rigorous ratings system.”

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust which runs King’s Mill, is one of the 64 out of 99 trusts requiring improvement overall, and King’s Mill itself was given a similarly low rating it its assessment last year.

The Sutton-in-Ashfield hospital was found to be ‘caring’ in all departments, while safety, effectiveness, responsiveness and leadership required improvement across the board.

And in its Medical Care department, safety was described as inadequate by assessors, after it emerged that between 2012 and 2014 there had been 134 series events across the trust, and two ‘Never Events’ – incidents that bosses must never allow to happen to patients in their care.

The report follows the news last week that the NHS is in financial turmoil – having racked up a £1 billion deficit in the first three months of this financial year.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals, itself, had an end-of-year deficit of £32.6 million for 2014-15, claiming in its last financial report the main issues arose from its Private Financing Initiative and staffing.

After a £320 million investment in the facility bosses wrote on King’s Mill’s NHS Choices page: “Our Doctors and nursing staff had a hand in designing the new hospital – and they listened to what patients thought too.

“So it works. And it looks fabulous.”

Karen Fisher, Acting Chief Executive at Sherwood Forest NHS Foundation Trust said: “We continue to focus on delivering safe, high quality and financially sustainable services for our patients and community. We have been active in dealing with issues raised by the CQC and continue to make improvements. For example, we have made improvements to our administrative systems and processes in relation to patients booking appointments and recruitment of new staff, and we continue to ensure safe staffing within our services, in and out of hours. We are confident that by working together with our colleagues in health and social care across mid-Nottinghamshire we can continue to build a better Sherwood Forest Hospitals.”