Hospital boss paints picture of improvement after action

Chief executive of West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust Samantha Jones.
Chief executive of West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust Samantha Jones.
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Hospital chief executive Samantha Jones has presented a report on efforts being made to improve health services in the area to a committee of county councillors.

The boss at West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust – which runs Hemel Hempstead’s urgent care centre, Watford and St Albns hospitals – gave evidence about the work it has been doing to improve the quality and safety of care across its three sites.



The presentation by Mrs Jones was made to Herts County Council’s health scrutiny committee, which is made up of councillors of all political allegiances, and followed concerns raised by the trust itself, and its partners, including a rise in mortality rates for patients who had suffered broken hips and worries about the way junior doctors were being trained and supervised.

Mrs Jones, who took up the top post earlier this year, said: “We have seen many improvements since we launched our dedicated programme.

“This includes reducing our mortality rates for patients who have suffered a broken hip by 50 per cent.

“We’ve also had feedback from the relevant authorities that we have addressed their concerns about the way we train and supervise junior doctors.”

The trust has launched a board sub-committee – made of representatives from Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group, Hertfordshire Healthwatch and representatives from the trust’s staff union and their patients panel – to track the progress on a dedicated programme of improvement works.

A total of 16 specific projects make up the programme, including the way in which the trust controls and prevents the spread of infections, how it is governed and how it manages complaints.

Work started in July and all projects will be completed by March.

Chairman of the health scrutiny committee Seamus Quilty said: “While there are still some issues to address we are satisfied that the trust is making good progress towards mitigating the risks which were identified.”