Mentoring scheme to help Isle trust in special measures

Karen Jackson, chief executive, at the North Lincs and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Picture: Terry Carrott
Karen Jackson, chief executive, at the North Lincs and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Picture: Terry Carrott

Health chiefs from outside of the region will be brought in to ‘mentor’ the failing trust which runs Scunthorpe General Hospital.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was placed into “special measures” in July after a litany of failings were uncovered in a government-ordered review.

The review, carried out by NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, noted higher than expected death rates at the trust.

Bosses at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will now be brought in to work with the trust to look at ways of improving services.

Karen Jackson, chief executive of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our action plan is well underway and we are quickly working our way through the Keogh review’s recommendations.

“Our SHMI mortality rate is steadily reducing and we have either implemented or are piloting a number of new initiatives such as mandatory training to help identify deteriorating patients, the reduction of patient falls, improved nutrition and hydration, hourly checks on patients, and the recruitment of additional nurses and health care assistants.”

Mrs Jackson herself faced calls for her resignation from councillors in North East Lincolnshire earlier this month after it was revealed that her pay had risen to £170,000, an increase of £25,000, despite the trust’s failings.

Trust chairman Dr James Whittingham said she had been paid “significantly below the going rate” when appointed in 2010 and had turned down a rise after her first year.

He added that although Mrs Jackson was still “significantly” underpaid, with a benchmark salary being around £185,000, she was being regularly head-hunted and the trust did not want to lose her.

Sir Andrew Cash, chief executive of the Sheffield trust, said the trust has already made significant progress in addressing the issues raised in the Keogh review.

He added: “Our role will be to supplement this by offering mentoring support where the trust feels it would be helpful and also to share good practice.

“We expect that in some areas there will also be good practice in Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which can be shared with us in Sheffield.

“The detail of the buddying still has to be agreed.”

The trust is one of 11 across the country to be mentored.

The move comes under the direction of health minister Jeremy Hunt who said the results of the scheme would be made public.