The Francis Report
Message from the Chief Executive

6 February 2013

In response to the publication of the Francis Report, the Prime Minister announced that NHS Medical Director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh is to lead an investigation into five acute hospital trusts.

We are one of the five that has been named - it is the same five that were named on 24 January for having a higher than expected SHMI (one of the two measures of hospital mortality) over the two-year period from July 2010 to June 2012.

We are expecting this investigation to take place within the next month and our understanding is that it will not just look at SHMI but other factors too, including HSMR (the other measure of mortality) and the results of the NHS Friends & Family Test.

During their visit we will explain the year on year reduction of in-hospital mortality and that our HSMR is within the expected range (November = 92.4 with a year-to-date figure of 100.6). We will also explain the analyses and audits we have conducted as well as the changes we made at the Trust. These include increased consultant numbers in A&E and EAU, the increased provision of 7 day working by consultants and other staff, and the overall improvement in our quality indicators and patient satisfaction.

The Trust has been working closely with the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as SHMI measures deaths in hospital and those occurring 30 days after discharge from hospital and we have issued a statement jointly with the CCG.

We will not be complacent and will continue our relentless focus on improving the quality of care and reducing unexpected deaths.

We take all unexpected deaths very seriously and have been closely monitoring these figures over the past two years, with extensive analysis from the Trust, commissioners and the National Emergency Care Team.

Dr Gordon Coutts
Chief Executive

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Our response to the Francis report

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust's initial response to the final report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry from Robert Francis QC, published February 2013.

The public enquiry and the subsequent Francis report are based on the care delivered by one organisation but its conclusions have far reaching consequences and recommendations for all organisations and every individual providing care.

This is the second report into the failings of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and the system which allowed them to happen. In Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust's we reviewed all of the recommendations of the first report, published in 2010, to make sure we complied with them and implemented all of the learning from that report. We are now carrying out the same review against the second report.

One of the main themes from the report is the impact of an organisation's culture on the attitudes, behaviour and performance of the individuals within it and how they provide and improve care. It is crucial the right culture is embedded within organisations and as such the Board has agreed to hold an away day with all Board members.

The report makes a number of recommendations around training, compassion, performance management and accountability for everyone working in the NHS. These are fundamental in delivering compassionate care and in ensuring we have the right staff, with the right skills and the right values.

Our aim is that all our staff always strive to provide excellent care for people at all times. To do this we will continue to develop the education and training of our staff to make sure they have the right knowledge and skills, understand the priorities and the organisational expectations of individuals and demonstrate the right values. We have developed these values with our staff and call them "At our Best".

These values are being embedded in our recruitment processes, performance appraisal and objective-setting for all staff.

It is vital that our focus is on patient care and outcomes, at all levels of our organisation "from ward to Board". We will maintain our focus on the experiences of our patients and their carers, so we are constantly improving the care our patients receive. We will do this by ensuring our Board hears the stories of our patients and they are incorporated in training for all our staff and by capturing and monitoring accurate data that reveals what is happening on the frontline of care.

We will continue to communicate and listen to our staff's views and build on the existing ways that we do this so we always use their feedback and suggestions to help us continually improve quality. We have also established a staff centred Francis Implementation Group to focus on the staff engagement and communications side of the recommendations.

We record feedback from our patients. We already include the "NHS Friends and Family Test" in our surveys, which asks patients how likely they are to recommend our services to their family and friends. We also invite the public to give feedback on our website, where they are also able to "rate" our services.

We are strengthening the recording of patient information, the care patients receive and the outcomes they experience as a result of their care, by rolling out a new electronic system "clinical portal" for managing this information by the end of this year.

We are reviewing out incidents and complaints processes and will strengthen this work to ensure that we learn from them and changes are made.

An in-depth review of the findings of the Francis Report and the themes and recommendations within the report, including benchmarking our Trust, is in progress to identify areas of compliance and where further work is required.

Keogh Review page

Go to our Keogh Review page.