Health trust Bridgewater rapped by commissioners

NHS trust Bridgewater
NHS trust Bridgewater

Clinical commissioners across three boroughs, including Wigan, have now expressed concerns about an under-fire health trust.

Wigan-based Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is now under ‘enhanced surveillance’ from Wigan, Warrington and Halton clinical commissioning groups.

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But bosses at Bridgewater say they are working closely with each of the commissioners to address concerns and draw up an action plan to tackle outstanding issues.

Health chiefs in Warrington first cited problems with a £19m community services deal last October, leading to a performance notice being issued.

This occurred amid concerns about Bridgewater’s approach to serious incident reporting, their primary care out-of-hours and extended access services, long waiting times for orthopaedic appointments and the state of the enhanced care home support service.

And this was followed up by separate concerns being expressed by Halton over the cost of prescribing medication and ‘patient experience’.

And later Wigan CCG’s quality committee confirmed it has adopted enhanced surveillance measures after expressing their own service worries.

The stepped-up monitoring regime, which has been discussed with the NHS Improvement Authority, is understood to last for a three-month period.

The health trust is still working to battle back from a ‘requires improvement’ rating, issued by the Care Quality Commission in February 2017.

A spokesman for Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “We work hard to ensure that are services are safe, effective and provide a great experience for patients.

“There are, however, times when both we and our commissioners identify areas where improvements are needed and, as a trust that provides services across multiple boroughs, we need to work in partnership with all our commissioners to address these in an open and transparent way.

“In this instance we have identified some opportunities to improve a number of systems and processes.

“We have put in place detailed action plans to deliver this work and are monitoring this closely at a senior level within the trust.

“There is no cause for concern for our patients and service users but quite rightly our commissioners are putting in place an enhanced system of monitoring our progress against these actions which we welcome.”