Big changes for crisis-hit bowel surgery at Hinchingbrooke Hospital

A NEW name and attitude will aim to re-establish public confidence in Hinchingbrooke Hospital’s colorectal unit, Circle said last week.

When the private firm took over the Huntingdon hospital in February, it promised to push through changes in bowel surgery care after the deaths of two patients following complications in surgery.

A report into the department was ordered by the coroner – details of which were made public earlier this year and concluded there had been serious failings.

Work had already begun on changing the department by the time the report was published, and now the latest changes to help transform the service have been revealed.

The department has been renamed the Gastrointestinal Clinic Unit, a change agreed by doctors and nurses.

Circle has also introduced a Stop the Line initiative where anyone, in any department, can raise safety concerns without fear of repercussions. These will then be dealt with by hospital ‘champions’.

Phil Roberts, clinical lead of the GICU, told The Hunts Post: “This time last year we were under the microscope of our financial and clinical viability, but since Circle has taken over there’s more security for staff.

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“We now have ownership of our ward which has empowered the staff to take responsibility, which means they take pride in their work and should mean fewer incidents.

“We are here for the patients but one of the things most important to us is to re-establish public confidence in the department, and because people see the stories about the ward, they think its the same with the whole hospital, so we hope these changes will lead to a reinstalled confidence in Hinchingbrooke Hospital as well.”

Mr Rogers added: “With the Stop the Line initiative anyone can raise issues without fear of being ignored, which means things will get sorted as soon as they are raised.”

Retraining is also being given to two medical professionals and two locum colorectal consultants have taken over until a permanent specialist starts in August.