Monday, 23 February 2015

Patients; the last to hear about problems.

Ashford and St. peter’s NHS Foundation Trust has a number of problem areas but it’s PR department isn’t one of them. There’s a constant stream of good news stories for the local press.

Bad news? They don’t talk about that if they can help it.

So while you can read this story in “Runcorn and Widness World”, you won’t hear much about it around here.

The news is that Whiston hospital’s Cancer department is going to mentor cancer services at Ashford and St. Peter’s under the ‘buddy’ system.

It’s a great idea; where a hospital does something well they lend their staff to help a trust that isn’t doing very well to help it get its act together.

It means that the poorer hospitals learn best practise from the best.

How could I object to that?

I don’t.

My gripe is that the ill advised merger with Guildford’s Royal County Hospital is meant to allow Ashford to extend its cancer services to attract new business (yes – trusts now "compete" with each other so they need to woo business from other hospitals).

The problem is that cancer patients were the last to hear that there was anything wrong.

Let’s hope the buddy system works;


Runcorn and Widnes World

Whiston Hospital to 'buddy' another hospital to help improve the care of cancer


First published Friday 13 February 2015  in News  


A PIONEERING buddy scheme is set to improve the care of cancer patients in



Whiston and St Helens hospitals have been chosen to help share their positive

experiences with another hospital in Surrey.


St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust was identified by the cancer patient experience survey as being one of the most highly rated by patients.


It will be mentoring Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in

Surrey to help them improve their patients’ experience of care.


Ann Marr, chief executive of St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust , said: “We’re really pleased to be part of this important project.


“We have a lot of respect for our buddy trust for taking part in the scheme too.


“It shows a real commitment to improving patients’ experience of care to take


“We’re looking forward to sharing some of the work we’ve done at Whiston and St Helens hospitals and supporting them to try out new ways of working.

“I’m sure both sides will learn a lot from this experience.”

The buddy scheme is being run by NHS Improving Quality, the national NHS

improvement organisation.

The aim of the scheme is to spread and accelerate innovative practice via peer

to peer support and learning.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)


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