Nottingham

Newark Hospital faces independent review of operations

Newark Hospital
Image caption Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust was criticised over operations at Newark Hospital

An independent review of operations at a Nottinghamshire hospital will be set up following a critical report of the trust that runs it.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust, which runs Newark and Kings Mill hospitals, was criticised in the Keogh report.

It said major operations like joint replacements were being carried out at Newark without back-up facilities, including a blood bank.

The trust said it would be responding to all of the report's recommendations.

Paul O'Connor, the trust's chief executive said: "We've agreed with the Keogh review team that we need an independent surgical assessment of the type of surgery that takes place in Newark, and the day of the week it takes place on, so we can make sure the hospital is as safe as it ought to be."

'Good quality services'

The probe into higher-than-expected hospital death rates at 14 trusts, including Sherwood Forest Hospitals, was led by NHS England's medical director Prof Sir Bruce Keogh.

The review had concerns about staffing levels at King's Mill and Newark, and said half of nurses on the general wards were found to be untrained.

A significant backlog of complaints to the trust dated back to 2010, and there were also long delays in producing discharge letters, arranging clinic appointments, and reading scans and X-rays.

The report also raised concerns about the effectiveness of senior management at Newark Hospital and the trust's whistle-blowing policy.

However, there was no evidence of patient harm at the hospitals.

A population of about 400,000 people are served by Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust.

Mr O'Connor said: "We strive to provide good quality services to the many thousands of patients who use our hospitals each and every day, and that is why we will be responding to all of the recommendations contained in the report.

"We already had some actions in progress at the time of the review visit and we will now be taking whatever further actions are necessary to enable us to continue to improve our services."

The trust has been given 12 months to sort out the problems highlighted by the Keogh review.

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