Home > Council and Democracy > Agenda item

Agenda item


The report will update the Committee on:

1.      The progress made since the Care Quality Commission inspection

2.      Key actions taken throughout the pandemic

3.      The impact of the pandemic on improvement and restoration

4.      Positive learning from reduced attendances at the Emergency Department and Walk In Centre


Dr Jim Gardner, Medical Director, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTH) re-emphasised the importance of the strong relationship between the health and social care system during the pandemic. He went on to highlight that the Trust was continuing to address the 249 actions identified by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in their most recent inspection of the Trust. He referred to the hospital mortality indicator, SHMI, noting that progress had been made and over the previous five months the Trust had achieved a statistically normal figure which was a material improvement.


Dr Gardner also highlighted the additional funding received from Government during the pandemic which had allowed the Trust to put certain measures in place including the temporary move of the Urgent Treatment Centre to Whitegate Drive in order to increase space at the hospital. Furthermore he noted the new trial taking in place in Blackpool to pre-triage attendees to the Emergency Department, with all patients being requested to call 111 unless an ambulance was required.


In response to questions, Dr Gardner advised that testing had revealed that 18% of the approximately 6,000 employees of the Trust had been known to have had Covid-19 and a recent exercise that tested all staff over a one week period had resulted in seven positive tests. The results of the test had changed national policy as a return of seven positives was seen as a low return on the investment of testing so many staff in a short amount of time.


Members referred to the 249 actions identified in the CQC inspection and noted that the actions consisted of 32 ‘must dos’ and 86 ‘should dos’ and that it was not clear from the report how many actions within each of the categories were outstanding. Dr Gardner advised that 183 of the actions had been completed and progress was regularly reviewed by the CQC. All mission critical actions relating to patient safety had been signed off and actions had been addressed in priority order.


In reference to parking at the hospital, it was noted that as per national guidance parking was currently free of charge. Members expressed the opinion that free parking should continue and Dr Gardner advised that it would do so until Government guidance changed. He added that as the car parks at the hospital were getting busier, permit parking for staff was being restored. Members further commented that free parking for staff would be a boost for morale if it could continue, alongside all the other additional support mechanisms put in place since the start of the pandemic.


Dr Gardner reported that additional support had been provided during the pandemic such as the ‘wobble room’. However, there were barriers to continued provision of the additional support provided such as physical capacity on site and financial implications. It was a continual challenge to balance the Trust’s books. He added that the Trust would continue to review and determine the support that could be provided for staff.



Members noted that Blackpool Victoria Hospital (BVH) had again introduced rules preventing visitors and queried what the current situation was regarding the number of cases which had led to the decision. Dr Gardner advised that there were, at the time of the meeting, six Covid positive patients at the Trust, five on the general wards at BVH and one at Clifton Hospital. However, there had appeared to be a surge of positive cases over the previous weekend and it was unclear at the time of imposing the restrictions whether the number of cases would continue to escalate. Ms Jo Bark, Deputy Director of Operations for Unscheduled Care added that visiting had remained open for maternity, paediatrics and end of life care and that the decision would be reviewed on Monday 21 September 2020, as it was understood how traumatic it could be to keep families apart during these difficult times.


The Committee expressed its thanks to the whole of the Trust and all staff for their dedication and hard work during the pandemic.


The Committee requested, and Dr Gardner agreed, that progress regarding the outstanding CQC inspection actions would be shared with the Committee prior to the end of December 2020 when it was expected that all actions would be completed.

Supporting documents: