“We will get out of special measures. Full stop.” Pledge of new chairman of trust which runs Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn

12:40 12 July 2014

Edward Libbey at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Edward Libbey at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

The new chairman of the beleaguered Queen Elizabeth Hospital at Kings Lynn has pledged to steer it out of special measures.

Health watchdogs criticised lack of nurses, A&E waiting times and financial performance at the hospital last October.

On Edward Libbey’s first day as chairman, the Care Quality Commission arrived to review progress at the 420-bed QEH.

“There’s a process we have to go through and we will go through it,” said Mr Libbey. “We will get out of special measures – full stop.”

Mr Libbey grew up in Lynn and has sat on the boards of primary care trusts and commissioning groups since 2006, previously working in the oil industry.

“I want to make sure that we have a hospital here that is the preferred choice for patients, the place people want to go that provides good care, where people have a good experience,” he said. “As chairman of the board, my job is to make sure the place runs smoothly.”

Interim chief executive Manjit Obhrai said CQC inspectors had praised hospital staff, saying they were “caring to the core”.

He said: “They have seen significant changes since they last came. They have to do another unscheduled visit in the next fortnight.”

While some of the issues singled out by the CQC and fellow watchdog Monitor have now been resolved –most notably lack of nurses –Mr Obhrai said there was still work to do.

“We need to be delivering a sustainable A&E performance and we’re not,” he said. “We need to make sure we deliver on all our targets on a consistent basis.”

“Significant numbers of people who have minor injuries could be dealt with by a nurse consultant, 30 to 40 per cent of people who come to A&E could be seen by a GP.”

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