AFTER her first month in the job, new chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) Michelle MacKay has spoken of how she intends to tackle the many challenges facing the Trust which she says has a ‘lack of clarity in terms of vision and priorities’.
In a report said the Trust needs to focus on a number of critical issues including recruitment, staff culture, delivering better performance, improving safety and stabilising finances.
The Trust currently has 153 medical vacancies out of an establishment of 705 – a shortfall of 21 per cent and in her report Ms Mackay outlined that issues surrounding staff recruitment and culture were at the root of much of the poor operational performance.
She said that one of the main reasons the trust could not deliver on many of its targets was a result of the lack of acute medical and emergency physicians.
The Trust has failed to meet several of its Key Performance Indicator (KPI) targets including Referral to Treatment (RTT), Diagnostic and Cancer targets for the entire year and, in some cases, longer periods.
When compared to other trusts, it ranks consistently in the lower portion out of approximately 30 trusts.
A number of visits from Care Quality Commission (CQC) chiefs last month (April) found that while some improvements had been made, not enough significant improvement had occurred.
They also saw a deterioration in patient experience, as measured in the annual inpatient survey.
The report also noted that while the Trust did achieve its financial control target in 2016/17 of a £34.6m deficit, this still leaves the Trust with a significant financial deficit for future years.
“There are many engaged, motivated and skilled staff within the Trust, but there is a lack of clarity in terms of the Trust’s vision and priorities,” said Ms Mackay.
“The Trust has been very adversely affected by a long period of temporary and changing leadership which has had a widespread negative impact.
“To be successful the Trust needs a positive, safety focused, patient-centred culture where every staff member is clear on their part in the Trust delivering great patient care.”