Saturday, June 11, 2016


Inadequate. Depends on how you look at it, isn't it? Depends on how you react to it. The Care Quality Commission came to our Trust and rated the Urgent & Emergency services as inadequate. Cue the predictable response. Listening to the media is a waste of time- as gone are the days of Walter Cronkite, Edward Murrow et al- we now live in the era of click-bait. Upstarts chasing bad stories, leaking salacious details is all what its about. Change the system? Don't be silly- its about the personality- damn the consequence of the shattered lives one feeds on or even leaves behind. So lets forget about them- it matters how one looks at it.

Funnily enough, as with most things, diabetes care has "led" the way- and on a personal level, had faced the sharp end of it back in 2010. We were one of the, (or was it "the"?) worst as regards amputation rates.  I learnt quickly- whatever you said would be seen as being defensive- I still recall the sarcasm laced comments from those in better positions than us- but you learn to accept it for what it is- and you work at it, with your team to make it better. 6 years later, much to do? yes- but have we moved on? I think we have. So back to the CQC…rile at them, be angry at them- and indeed there are many views as regards their use, motives or indeed existence- the reality is that till things change, they are here and they have published a report which rates part of where I work as inadequate.

I won't spend much time on reasons but whatever way you cut it, the past is what it is. It perhaps is up to the present to try and rectify it for the future. For reasons outside their immediate control, today, staff working in the Urgent pathway are the focus of attention, the source of click-bait- but would I take my loved one to be seen by the Portsmouth ED or MAU department? Yes, in the blink of an eye-because I know what the staff stand for. Don't believe me? Look at the CQC report- the "Caring" section- rated as Outstanding. Buried under the bad news, sits the Outstanding tag as regards the level of Caring.

I suppose it matters how you look at the ratings. One cynical view would be to ignore it completely- and walk away from it- not sure who wins or loses with that. Its easy for me to stay out- hey- our department is involved in young people and children and outpatients- CQC says its "Good"- so why bother? I bother because its my Trust, I bother because I owe a lot to this Trust over my years as a junior doctor or helping me to develop me as a Consultant. I can spend time berating the CQC or we could do our bit to help improve whats needed. Its a question of equity, its a question of everyone pulling together and this will bring into focus the need for all to do whats needed- so lets do it. The past is what it is- we could analyse it, dissect it, point fingers at others- or we could make sure we get that bit sorted.

Is Portsmouth Hospital a bad trust? No- have a look at the CQC report- if this was a report card, a fair smattering of blue and green and some amber with one red. Its nearly easy to in fact forget the red. But we must not. Our critical care is outstanding- lets rejoice at that, lets learn from that. And then lets go try and turn that one Red into something different. This is my Trust, a Trust of which I am unashamedly proud- and I don't give a monkeys about click bait stories. I however do care about patients and their needs, I do care about reputation and I also do know what amazing staff the hospital holds.

In the words of Abe Lincoln… "Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you- and you are sure to succeed". To all the staff of Portsmouth Hospital who read this, you do an amazing job- day in, day out- and for that…thank you. Now lets get that little red bit in that report sorted, shall we? 

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