Organs row hospital ‘is no longer a national leader’ finds damning report after probe is prompted by two whistleblower doctors Concerns around clinical care at Liverpool”s Alder Hey hospital prompts government intervention
Health chiefs emphasise that surgery is still classified as safe
Europe”s largest children”s hospital has been slammed for a fall in standards after two whistleblowers prompted a formal investigation.
Liverpool”s Alder Hey hospital is famed for providing “world-class” care but a new report states it can no longer be considered a national leader.
The findings will be a blow to the institution which has spent years trying to regain public trust after it was embroiled in a major scandal in 1999, which publicised that hundreds of organs had been stockpiled without parental consent.
Liverpool”s Alder Hey hospital is famed for providing “world-class” care but a new report states it can no longer be considered a national leader
Alder Hey hospital provides specialist treatment for 200,000 children across the North-West every year and ts quality of care has been rated excellent by the health regulator for the past six years.
But medical staff raised concerns about clinical care on 19 separate occasions over a six year period prompting the hospital to call in The Royal College of Surgeons to perform an in-depth review.
They analysed each of the cases which included general surgery, urology and neonatal surgery on a case-by-case basis.
The findings will be a blow to the institution which has spent years trying to regain public trust
A report, finalised in August, said: “In the view of the panel, Alder Hey is not at the present time attaining world-class standards of care or world-class standards of research in the department of paediatric surgery.
“Although it has been acknowledged tobe a national leader in the past, on the evidence that the panel reviewed relating to clinical case management, clinical governance and research output, the department would not merit such a ranking today.”
It also commented that the overall surgical care of patients did not fall below the general standards however care given in five of the cases assessed was sub-optimal.
It also revealed that at times trainee assessment “lacked reasonable objectivity”.
Officials looked at problems relating to getting family consent for operations, the failure to act when concerns about trainee doctors were raised and difficulty in keeping staff up-to-date with “new surgical techniques”.
In reaction to the report health chiefs at the hospital emphasised that surgery at Alder Hey is still classified as safe.
The trust, whose chairman is former Liverpool council chief executive Sir David Henshaw, said last night therecommendations had been helpful and steps have already been taken to resolve the issues.
New measures include a review of its whistleblowing policy, strengthening processes, includingstaff appraisals and how to carry out effective meetings about patient deaths and the establishment of a new clinical ethics committee.
A spokesperson for the hospital said: “Alder Hey has anexcellent clinical record and the quality of our care is externally evaluated.”