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Statement in response to enquiry visit to Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has accepted the key recommendations of the Healthcare Improvement Scotland enquiry team report into the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre. 

Dr Jennifer Armstrong, Medical Director, pledged to work with management and clinicians to take forward improvements:  “NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde always puts the safety and wellbeing of patients at the core of clinical change. 

“We welcome the report of the enquiry team and the opportunity this provides for NHSGGC management team and consultants at the Beatson to move forward in a constructive way. 

“At the heart of this enquiry was the question over whether the services we have put in place at the Beatson are safe for cancer patients who become acutely unwell during their stay. 

“We are pleased that the enquiry has found that the High Acuity Unit is effective ....and a positive and welcome development which has improved the treatment of acutely unwell patients and also those whose condition is deteriorating. 

“All those involved - our oncology doctors and nurses, our critical care doctors and nurses and the Beatson management team –  reported to the enquiry that the unit is working well and providing a high quality of service to patients. Patient feedback has also been very positive. 

“Our monitoring and review of the service has shown that it was safe four months ago when it was introduced and remains safe today. 

“We do accept however that, while our arrangements are safe and patient care has not been compromised, we can do more to mitigate any risks of introducing this new way of working.  We are fully committed to making these improvements in partnership with our clinical colleagues.” 

NHSGGC response to Enquiry recommendations:

The enquiry recommends urgent action to mitigate future risk to cancer patients who become acutely unwell. We accept that whilst the service is safe and effective it can be improved. We are committed to delivering on this by improving our written procedures – with the full engagement of medical staff - to ensure that everyone is clearer about their respective roles.

We also accept the legitimate criticisms of communication between management and consultants and of the delays in agreeing and implementing this new safe model of care. We will learn from this in order to move forward in a more positive way with colleagues to deliver continuous improvement to patient services. This of course is a two-way process involving local management teams and clinicians and we commit to working in a collaborative and supportive manner in implementing the recommendations of the report.

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