Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting KNEWS to 80360, or email
Deficit in York ‘may affect Airedale Hospital’
A deteriorating financial situation in a neighbouring primary care trust (PCT) could have an impact on Airedale Hospital.
Airedale NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Bridget Fletcher drew the board’s attention to the fact that North Yorkshire and York PCT had been predicted to have a deficit of £19 million by the end of March 2013.
Most of Airedale’s patients come from the Bradford and Leeds areas but a minority come from North Yorkshire with North Yorkshire and York PCT pays Airedale for treating them.
Ms Fletcher (pictured) said the £19 million deficit could get even worse, adding that financial consultants from the firm KPMG had been brought in to try to work out a resolution.
Her written update report stated: “Clearly this represents a significant risk to the whole health and social care community. The foundation trust is participating in the KPMG review and is in discussions about potential solutions.”
Non-executive director Anne Gregory said that whatever impact the problem had on health services, people would continue to fall ill and do whatever they could to access medical treatment.
She suggested this could result in more pressure on Airedale’s Accident & Emergency department.
- Ms Fletcher said the foundation trust was tightening its procedures to ensure correct statistics were released to the public.
She was again commenting on an issue which surfaced last month, when an article in a trade magazine questioned Airedale’s patient safety record.
The Health Service Journal analysed data submitted by the trust, and other trusts across the country, to reveal that patients were suffering avoidable harm during their care at some trusts, including Airedale.
However, the data on the number of patients acquiring a VTE – venous thromboembolism – while under the care of Airedale Hospital, was incorrect.
The figures were released by Airedale as part of the NHS Safety Thermometer, a tool used for measuring, monitoring and analysing patient harm and ‘harm-free’ care. At last Thursday’s meeting, Ms Fletcher said the data that was made public had contained mistakes and was still only in draft form.
“We did score a bit of an own goal because the data that was entered was not the final version,” she said. “It was human error, the data was not meant for public consumption at that time.”
Hospital 'rigorous' in recording patient falls
The number of patients who fall while staying at Airedale continues to be a concern, according to the foundation trust’s deputy director of nursing.
However, Debra Fairley (pictured) stressed that Airedale was very rigorous at recording every trip, slip and fall incident, even when the person involved was unhurt.
She also noted that there had been a reduction in the number of patients who suffered fractures as a result of falling over.
She explained: “All patients who are admitted to the hospital have a falls risk assessment. If they are deemed to be a high risk there can be a number of measures taken such as use of low-height beds.
“We’re aware that other hospitals don’t report all their minor slips, trips and falls. But we’re quite purist about it here.”
- Ms Fairley told the meeting about the experience of a patient with Alzheimer’s who was admitted to Airedale. She said the details were provided by the man’s wife, who had agreed for the information to be presented to the board.
She said the patient’s Alzheimer’s meant he had been distressed, so was difficult to treat. But his wife praised Airedale staff for their patience, and had singled out one of the doctors as “excellent”.