Royal Blackburn Hospital lacking stable leadership, according to senior consultant

Royal Blackburn

Royal Blackburn

First published in News

A SENIOR consultant said Blackburn used to have ‘one of the best hospitals in the north west’, but has suffered from a lack of stable leadership in recent years.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Royal Blackburn and Burnley hospitals, is currently in special measures after NHS inspectors made wide-ranging criticisms of the way it had been run over several years.

Rob Watson, who heads up the hospital’s well-regarded surgical triage unit, also said former chief executive Jo Stubbins had been given an ‘impossible task’ of joining hospital services in Blackburn and Burnley in 2006.

He told board members the merger had ‘consequences on the delivery of healthcare’, as the closure of the emergency ward at Burnley meant more patients flooded to Blackburn’s new ‘hospital on the hill’, which replaced the old Royal Infirmary.

Blackburn’s surgical department soon became the busiest in the north west and served ‘one of the sickest populations’, while ‘nine chief executives in the last 11 years’ added to the trust’s difficulties, he said.

The surgical triage unit was set up in 2009 to combat these problems, to fast track surgical patients through the emergency department and avoid delays, Mr Watson said.

The unit was one of the areas praised in last year’s Keogh Report, which made largely damning criticisms of ELHT and persuaded ministers to place the trust in special measures.

Jim Birrell, interim chief executive at ELHT, said: “Mr Watson’s comments during the trust board were to express his personal opinions with regards to the success of the surgical triage unit, a service which wouldn’t have been possible without the reconfiguration and merger of acute services in East Lancashire.

“Mr Watson is rightfully proud of the surgical triage unit, which has been praised and copied as an example of how to provide quality urgent and emergency surgical care.”

“[The] reconfiguration aimed to improve patient care by the redesign of some clinical services with all emergency work being carried out at the Royal Blackburn Hospital site to ensure a safe, sustainable and highly skilled emergency department and an increase in access to elective surgery on the Burnley General Hospital site.”

Comments (11)

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8:58pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Sue Lee says...

So to stabilise the leadership they've imposed on us a make shift Chief Executive from Liverpool and a professor Chairwoman from Manchester. That's going to help!
So to stabilise the leadership they've imposed on us a make shift Chief Executive from Liverpool and a professor Chairwoman from Manchester. That's going to help! Sue Lee
  • Score: 5

10:02pm Thu 6 Mar 14

fireonthemountain says...

Well , I'm still puzzled .

The old Blackburn Infirmary - on the main road , loads and loads of bus routes went by . Easy access and short distances for emergency ambulances . Short travelling times for staff and patients .

Small car park I agree .

Now - all the above is the other way round !!

Totally out-of-the-way for everyone concerned .
Massive car parks (which aren't big enough) .

How odd .

Let's turn to Darwen Health Centre .
We find the same .

Old position - easy walk from town centre and bus station .
Now - walk up a somewhat steep hill .
Old position- no car parking spaces .
Now - loads , but not enough !

So - we seem to have increased car journeys dramatically .
With the obvious increase in congestion and pollution .
A likewise decrease in bus company revenue ,

I am definitely missing something here , but what ?

One last point - can anyone shed light on "disabled bays" ?
How many at old BRI compared with now ?
Likewise DHC .
Why is it that when my mate runs me to The-Hospital-on-the-
Hill
do we see dozens and dozens of cars in the disabled parking
area with people jumping in and out of cars who are clearly not disabled ?

Mind you , same thing happens at Sainsbury's Darwen .

I am definitely missing something here .

I invite replies and if I'm wrong , I'm wrong .

But if you vote this post down , please tell me why .
Well , I'm still puzzled . The old Blackburn Infirmary - on the main road , loads and loads of bus routes went by . Easy access and short distances for emergency ambulances . Short travelling times for staff and patients . Small car park I agree . Now - all the above is the other way round !! Totally out-of-the-way for everyone concerned . Massive car parks (which aren't big enough) . How odd . Let's turn to Darwen Health Centre . We find the same . Old position - easy walk from town centre and bus station . Now - walk up a somewhat steep hill . Old position- no car parking spaces . Now - loads , but not enough ! So - we seem to have increased car journeys dramatically . With the obvious increase in congestion and pollution . A likewise decrease in bus company revenue , I am definitely missing something here , but what ? One last point - can anyone shed light on "disabled bays" ? How many at old BRI compared with now ? Likewise DHC . Why is it that when my mate runs me to The-Hospital-on-the- Hill do we see dozens and dozens of cars in the disabled parking area with people jumping in and out of cars who are clearly not disabled ? Mind you , same thing happens at Sainsbury's Darwen . I am definitely missing something here . I invite replies and if I'm wrong , I'm wrong . But if you vote this post down , please tell me why . fireonthemountain
  • Score: 15

7:03am Fri 7 Mar 14

Loving lances says...

Any comment from former chairwoman, the very wonderful Hazel Harding?
Any comment from former chairwoman, the very wonderful Hazel Harding? Loving lances
  • Score: 10

10:38am Fri 7 Mar 14

adamdesk says...

employ me as a chief executive and I would turn the hospital into the UKs best at least expenses.
employ me as a chief executive and I would turn the hospital into the UKs best at least expenses. adamdesk
  • Score: 1

12:17pm Fri 7 Mar 14

mavrick says...

There is nothing new in what has been said by the consultant, we all knew what would happen when they closed A&E at Burnley. It didn't take much working out. whilst some of the bad leaders have gone I am afraid some of the senior management need to go as well. However they promoted from within people who were part of the problem. I am not convinced you can take £80 million out of the service without serious consequences, we are suffering them now and they will get worse. I do agree Blackburn had one of the best hospitals in the country a few years ago, It was when they decided to shut the old infirmary and get rid of the top quality staff and replace them with cheaper versions that the problems really started. Who remembers the banner at the entrance to the hospital saying SOS for the NHS, were they right I am afraid so. I have been invited by nhs England in to discuss any issues I may have. However I don't wish to be patronised and be told we will take on board your concerns then be patted on the head and sent on my way while my concerns are binned. We have heard enough cliche's from the apologist's to last a lifetime. The A&E services have to be put back in Burnley General with sufficient staff to manage it, Blackburn needs to seen as a hospital in it's own right the same for Burnley. someone has to hold their hand up and say fair enough we have cocked up lets go back a step. I would then begin to have my faith restored in the NHS and RBH in particular until then I will never go in to the RBH as a in patient, I am not to impressed with the day clinics in thereeither . It is sad to have to say these things about an institution I have believed in and strived to help all my life and I will not stand idly by while this coalition tries to steal it for their rich friends.
There is nothing new in what has been said by the consultant, we all knew what would happen when they closed A&E at Burnley. It didn't take much working out. whilst some of the bad leaders have gone I am afraid some of the senior management need to go as well. However they promoted from within people who were part of the problem. I am not convinced you can take £80 million out of the service without serious consequences, we are suffering them now and they will get worse. I do agree Blackburn had one of the best hospitals in the country a few years ago, It was when they decided to shut the old infirmary and get rid of the top quality staff and replace them with cheaper versions that the problems really started. Who remembers the banner at the entrance to the hospital saying SOS for the NHS, were they right I am afraid so. I have been invited by nhs England in to discuss any issues I may have. However I don't wish to be patronised and be told we will take on board your concerns then be patted on the head and sent on my way while my concerns are binned. We have heard enough cliche's from the apologist's to last a lifetime. The A&E services have to be put back in Burnley General with sufficient staff to manage it, Blackburn needs to seen as a hospital in it's own right the same for Burnley. someone has to hold their hand up and say fair enough we have cocked up lets go back a step. I would then begin to have my faith restored in the NHS and RBH in particular until then I will never go in to the RBH as a in patient, I am not to impressed with the day clinics in thereeither . It is sad to have to say these things about an institution I have believed in and strived to help all my life and I will not stand idly by while this coalition tries to steal it for their rich friends. mavrick
  • Score: 8

12:39pm Fri 7 Mar 14

adamdesk says...

under new management please
under new management please adamdesk
  • Score: 3

12:56pm Fri 7 Mar 14

velocityowl says...

To fireonthemountain. A disability is not always obvious, could be heart or other things which mean you are fine sometimes but struggle at others. The process people have to go through to get these badges is unbelievable , I know I had to do it for my mother.
To fireonthemountain. A disability is not always obvious, could be heart or other things which mean you are fine sometimes but struggle at others. The process people have to go through to get these badges is unbelievable , I know I had to do it for my mother. velocityowl
  • Score: 6

4:29pm Fri 7 Mar 14

fireonthemountain says...

velocityowl - point taken - cheers !
velocityowl - point taken - cheers ! fireonthemountain
  • Score: 2

4:56pm Fri 7 Mar 14

krazzi horse says...

ITS A #HIT HOLE ON THE MOORS WOULD NT TAKE ME DONKEY THERE IF I HAD ONE .NOW T WRONG W THE ARD WORKING STAFF JUST NEED TO IMPROVE THE MORALE AND LEADERSHIP.
ITS A #HIT HOLE ON THE MOORS WOULD NT TAKE ME DONKEY THERE IF I HAD ONE .NOW T WRONG W THE ARD WORKING STAFF JUST NEED TO IMPROVE THE MORALE AND LEADERSHIP. krazzi horse
  • Score: 2

7:12pm Fri 7 Mar 14

marcg868 says...

Hobbled round with a fractured fibula and knee meniscus tear. Spent five months off work and had surgery on my knee at Bolton. Due to Blackburn misdiagnosing my injury as a sprain. Awful service.
Hobbled round with a fractured fibula and knee meniscus tear. Spent five months off work and had surgery on my knee at Bolton. Due to Blackburn misdiagnosing my injury as a sprain. Awful service. marcg868
  • Score: 8

10:09am Sun 9 Mar 14

woolywords says...

Put me in the same camp as fireonthemountain, as I'm at a loss to comprehend where all these newly 'disabled' people came from..
My understanding is that the disabled person has to be in the vehicle for it to be used in such a fashion but, like fireonthemountain, I rarely see the alleged disabled person getting in or out of their state financed cars.
There is, in my opinion, a right racket going on, in the availability of these vehicles, that are rented, insured and serviced at the tax-payers expense.
Whilst I accept that there may be a medical reason for some of them but can the same be said of them, morally. I think not.
There is a certain moral more within all of us, not to challenge the disabled but, there comes a time when we have to say, enough is enough. Some have blatantly abused this grant of our compassion, to avail themselves of a freebie and this has to be stopped.
I was medically discharged from the army for my injuries but don't play the 'green card' for disabilities, as I think, there, but for the grace of God, go I.
Put me in the same camp as fireonthemountain, as I'm at a loss to comprehend where all these newly 'disabled' people came from.. My understanding is that the disabled person has to be in the vehicle for it to be used in such a fashion but, like fireonthemountain, I rarely see the alleged disabled person getting in or out of their state financed cars. There is, in my opinion, a right racket going on, in the availability of these vehicles, that are rented, insured and serviced at the tax-payers expense. Whilst I accept that there may be a medical reason for some of them but can the same be said of them, morally. I think not. There is a certain moral more within all of us, not to challenge the disabled but, there comes a time when we have to say, enough is enough. Some have blatantly abused this grant of our compassion, to avail themselves of a freebie and this has to be stopped. I was medically discharged from the army for my injuries but don't play the 'green card' for disabilities, as I think, there, but for the grace of God, go I. woolywords
  • Score: 0

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