Jersey hospital staff 'not assessed regularly enough'

Joseph Vasse The report was commissioned after the death of Joseph Vasse

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Jersey's General hospital is not assessing the work of its staff often enough, according to a report into standards of health care.

The Aitkenhead report was commissioned after 75-year-old Joseph Vasse died following a routine hernia operation in December 2008.

It found safety was improving but a changes were still needed.

Hospital director Andrew McLaughlin said staff were appraised and more rigorous checks were being introduced.

Prof Alan Aitkenhead said medical staff were not appraised regularly.

Without annual checks, he said, the hospital could not know whether its consultants were acting properly.

Responsible officer

He wrote two reports, with the second looking into whether the original recommendations were followed.

The professor said he was assured a responsible officer to oversee appraisals would be appointed, but on his visit last December that had not happened.

He said another worry was that there was no suitable replacement for Mr McLaughlin once he leaves.

Prof Aitkenhead said, overall, the management at Jersey's General Hospital had made plans to bring care up to the best level of practice in the UK.

But he found the mandatory annual appraisal of hospital staff was not happening, even though he was promised it would.

Mr McLaughlin said the team at the hospital would never stop making improvements.

He said: "It is a never ending business improving safety in a hospital, there have been a lot of changes made in the last few years and certainly since Professor Aitkenhead made his first visit to us in May 2011.

"A huge number of changes have been implemented, the balance of risk is something we are all striving to make as safe for people as possible."

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