Hospital to lose nearly 50 beds, resulting in surgeries being delayed

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Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn has announced that up to 24 beds in two wards will be out of action for six months. As a result, around 25 operations a week are due to be cancelled in a bid to deal with staff shortages.

The move comes after the Care Quality Commission claimed patient safety was being affected. It is hoped that by reducing beds, patients will get better care.

The Queen Elizabeth was rated “inadequate” earlier this month by the Care Quality Commission after it was revealed nearly one in five posts at the hospital were vacant.

The report, published earlier this month, criticised the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for not meeting basic food, drink and toilet needs properly, for high staff turnover, vacancy and sickness rates, and for placing bereaved parents, being counselled after a miscarriage or stillbirth, too close to women giving birth.

Inspectors were concerned “there was a focus on discharging patients as quickly as possible to free up beds, with a lack of focus on ensuring the patient’s holistic needs were met prior to discharge.”

The Queen Elizabeth Chief executive Jon Green said: “Our inspection report made clear that we must improve our staffing levels to ensure high quality patient care on our wards at all times. To this end the trust board must consider a whole range of options to facilitate this including suggestions put forward by NHS Improvement, our staff and our system partners.”

Loveness Chihoyi, Trainee Legal Executive in the Medical Negligence team at Ashtons Legal, comments: “Although it is clear there have been measures put in place to ensure patients receive the care they need in a healthy, safe and friendly environment, it does appear that this will further increase the waiting time for NHS operations with some patients having to wait for more than a year. The cancellations and delays of these operations are not without implications. As such, the NHS should change their approach of giving with one hand and taking with the other.”


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