Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust 'invests £30m' after safety concerns

North Manchester General Hospital, Royal Oldham Hospital, Fairfield (Bury)and Rochdale Infirmary hospitals Image copyright David Dixon/Geograph/Google
Image caption The trust includes North Manchester General, Royal Oldham, Fairfield and Rochdale Infirmary

A hospital trust rated "inadequate" by inspectors has announced it is investing £30m in frontline services.

Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (PAT) said it would recruit hundreds of nurses and midwifery staff as well as 35 doctors over the next three years.

The trust runs four Greater Manchester hospitals: the Royal Oldham; Fairfield in Bury; Rochdale Infirmary; and North Manchester General.

Money will also be spent on improving hospital buildings, a spokesman said.

PAT was rated inadequate in August last year by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) amid "serious concerns" over patient safety.

In November, the trust's own review of its Royal Oldham and North Manchester General hospitals identified several "unacceptable situations", including hospital staff leaving a premature baby "in a sluice room to die alone" and misdiagnosing a mother who died from a "catastrophic haemorrhage".

The trust's investment plan

  • £10m to recruit more than 300 nursing and midwifery staff
  • Money for 35 more doctors and an extra 25 Allied Health Professionals
  • £10m on essential capital estates building work at The Royal Oldham and North Manchester General Hospitals
  • £2.5m investment to develop new hospital site-based infrastructure
  • £1m investment in IT and data information systems
  • Investment in new medical and clinical equipment
  • Investment in staff training and development

Following the CQC inspection, the nearby Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, whose leadership team was rated "outstanding", was asked to take charge of PAT.

The trust was given £9.2m to spend on improving services from its local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), and it said "immediate action" was taken.

Money was spent on "strengthening medical and nurse staffing in pressured services", such as maternity, paediatrics and urgent care, and investing in a Nursing Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS), the trust said.

NAAS, which was adopted from Salford Royal, assesses wards against environmental, care and leadership standards.

As part of its Improvement Plan the trust said it had already recruited 31 new midwives for the two maternity units at North Manchester General and The Royal Oldham Hospitals.

Image copyright PAT
Image caption Sir David Dalton became chief executive of Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust in April 2016

PAT's chief executive Sir David Dalton confirmed that £20.5m of "new additional money" had been secured for 2017-18.

The Trust had also secured £10m for "essential capital investment" in the estates and facilities at the North Manchester General Hospital and The Royal Oldham sites, he said.

He added: "We have listened to our nursing staff who have told us that we need to increase our nursing and midwifery staffing levels on our wards to ensure staff are supported and that patients are getting the very best care they need.

"This funding recognises all of the hard work, changes and improvements that have been delivered by our staff at all levels over the last few months."

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