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Stroke ward reduced at King George Hospital in bid to lift standards

PUBLISHED: 12:08 11 September 2012

King George Hospital

King George Hospital

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The number of beds for stroke patients at King George Hospital have been cut.

The number of beds for stroke patients at King George Hospital have been cut.

The move follows criticism by health watchdog the Quality Care Commission (CQC), which found the level of care on Beech Ward, which specialises in stroke rehabilitation, was unacceptable.

The Chief Executive of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT), which runs the Goodmayes hospital, claims the reduction from 22 to 15 beds was made as part of a bid to “improve the standard of care”.

Averil Dongworth said: “We took the CQC report very seriously and felt that to improve the care of the patients we needed to have a higher staff to patient ratio.

“By cutting the amount of beds staff can dedicate more time to each individual patient, which in turn should mean their rehabilitation time is shorter.”

The trust is almost £50million in debt and needs to make a saving of £23million this year “through efficiency and waste reduction” – but insists the loss of beds has nothing to do with cutting costs.

The CQC made an unannounced inspection of Beech Ward in June and raised concerns about staff behaviour and lack of dignity and privacy for patients.

It made a second unannounced visit last week and although the official report has yet to be released, the trust said initial feedback was positive.

‘Excellent’

The Post and Barking MP Margaret Hodge were given a tour of the ward on Friday.

All of the patients on the ward who spoke to the Post and Mrs Hodge said they were happy with their care.

Sayed Hossain, 25, from Ilford, said the support he had received had been “excellent”.

After the visit Mrs Hodge said she was concerned over how the trust would manage with less beds for stroke patients, but said she believed the quality of care had improved somewhat.

She said: “I visited a friend here a couple of years ago and it was pretty awful. It was obvious that the patients weren’t receiving the right standard of care.

“But things do seem a bit better now. The staff are more attentive and the patients a little happier.

“However I think a lot more can be done to make the ward look a warmer place and to increase stimulation. That doesn’t cost much.”

She also expressed concerns that the ward was still using a fair number of agency nurses, which she said were costly and did not always offer the same level of care as permanent staff.

The hospital is also in the process of setting up a day room where stroke patients can socialise.


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