How many people signed the Downing Street petition to ask the government to look into Tameside General Hospital?
The answer is six hundred and four! Six hundred and four people who were so concerned by the alarming death rates and poor care at Tameside General Hospital that they wanted a government investigation.
Here was the petition submitted by Mr Paul Gallagher of the Manchester Evening News:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to order an independent investigation into a catalogue of failings at Tameside General Hospital.
The hospital has one of the highest death rates in the country. It scored just 4.8 out of 100 for patient safety in a report by Dr Foster – an independent body which collects information on health services. An unannounced inspection by a Government watchdog recently found two breaches in the hospital’s infection control. Patient groups say they are being inundated with complaints about failings in basic care on the wards – particularly for older people who don’t get the help they need to eat, drink, wash and go to the toilet. We believe an independent investigation is necessary to restore public confidence in the hospital services.
Downing Street has only just gotten around to replying:
On 19 February 2010, it was announced that the independent regulators the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Monitor, along with NHS North West, the regional Strategic Health Authority, would be conducting a series of reviews into the Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
NHS North West, the CQC and Monitor released the findings of their reviews into performance and governance at the Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on 29 June 2010. All three reports showed improvement in the Trust’s performance. The CQC has subsequently lifted its conditions of registration.
The Department of Health recognises that action is being taken in response to local concerns and that ensuring high quality patient care remains a priority for both the Trust and the independent regulators. However, as responsibility for local health services lies with the NHS locally, more details can be obtained from NHS North West. The address is:
NHS North West
3 Piccadilly Place
Do you think that is a whitewash? What is an “improvement”? A few less deaths?
How is “However, as responsibility for local health services lies with the NHS locally, more details can be obtained from NHS North West” to be interpreted? It sounds like “Sod off and myther Manchester” to us.
You are welcome to add your thoughts below.