Don Foster MP*

"Report shows RUH is on road to recovery," says Foster.

Bath MP, Don Foster, has said that he is broadly optimistic of the Review of the RUH which the Commission for Health Improvement has just published.

Main ImageThis Ofstead-equivalent review of the hospital took place at a very difficult time in July: the RUH’s A&E Department was stretched to its limits, there were staff shortages and the Trust was under the management of a temporary Chief Executive.

Mr Foster comments, “Since July, I have had a lot of meetings with the senior management, staff and patients. I was concerned, because of the increasing instances of patient suffering and difficulties I’ve dealt with. The RUH can’t deny that some mistakes have been made, in terms of management decisions, and problems with poor staff retention have made matters worse.
“But the feedback from the hospital is both positive and proactive. In many areas where the report made criticisms, the RUH is already ploughing ahead with fresh programmes to improve their patient services. On top of which, let’s not forget we now have a new Chief Executive, Richard Gleave, another A&E consultant, 3 more consultant nurses, 50 additional nurses and a total of 55 more beds throughout the Authority. This is all good news, and I’m hoping that once the A&E Unit has been rebuilt, we’ll have a hospital service to be proud of by Easter.”

Mr. Foster said, “You won’t find any window dressing in this report. The hospital came through this inspection at a very tough time indeed, and I feel that staff have proved their resolve to deliver the best service they can to local people, and urgently make improvements where necessary.”

“We can’t really underestimate the problems caused by the funding cutbacks five years ago, when the RUH lost 72 beds and 400 members of staff at a time when it should have been expanding. We are now in a position where our A&E unit at the RUH sees 49% more patients than the national average. The RUH is our only major hospital; it’s clearly a challenge for it to serve 100,000 people and deal with 3 health authorities.

“But despite these funding cuts, the hospital has pioneered some important improvements to health care, which they are following through in their action plan. This really has been a case where necessity has been the mother of invention.

“I’m pleased that the report picked up on the innovative ways staff are seeking to treat their patients. The RUH has been praised for the way in which they have adopted an ‘integrated care’ approach, for example, treating patients with broken hips, strokes or acute neurological conditions in the right department, instead of wasting time and resources feeding them through general medical wards.”

This article published: 18/09/2023

Published by Bath Liberal Democrats, 31 James St West, Bath, BA1 2BT. Printed and hosted by JPC Infonet, 2 St Georges Works, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8AA. Your Privacy._blank

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