Challenge for hospital is to eradicate the pressure points

Herald Series: . .

THE latest inspection of the John Radcliffe by health watchdogs, the Care Quality Commission, raises issues of concern.

Patients will perhaps not be surprised by problems highlighted in A&E and surgery, waiting times, as well as cancelled operations and under-staffing. And Sir Jonathan Michael’s excuse of it being “the busiest day of the year” does not cut the mustard.

The hospital should be aspiring to ensure it can handle the toughest conditions. That way, anything short of that measure is within its capabilities. It is this aspirational thinking that would drive up standards.

Sir Jonathan has said action is already being taken, but the proof will be the results from the next inspection.

He was not surprised by the findings, which shows a realism and understanding of the situation “on the shop floor” – something people in senior management can often lack.

Identifying these pressure points is the first part of the challenge.

The work now is to overcome these issues and eradicate the pressure points altogether.

This will not be an easy job. But it is why Sir Jonathan is paid a large wage – to be the man capable of effecting change.

Healthwatch Oxfordshire has already noted evidence of positive work, so patients will hope this is continued. And the fact the trust was rated good shows the John Radcliffe is the exception, not the norm. It now needs to emulate its parent trust.

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