Hospitals’ top aims revealed

David Throssell
David Throssell
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Reviewing hospital death rates at weekends and tackling the effects of long waiting lists are among Sheffield hospital chiefs’ top priorities for the next year, a new report reveals.

And more action is needed to cut the number of operations cancelled on the day

According to figures 955 operations were cancelled on the day last year at the Royal Hallamshire, Northern General, Jessop wing and Weston Park hospitals.

The Quality Report into standards at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals also says some patients refuse operations on Fridays because of a fear of problems developing over the weekend.

Bosses have pledged to make sure every hospital patient has a name of the consultant and nurse responsible for their care above their bed.

Rates of ward infection C.diff are at an ‘all-time low’ and there have been fewer serious blunders in 2013/14 than the previous year.

Medical director Dr David Throssell said the trust had set itself ‘challenging improvements’ for the next 12 months.

Mortality rates for both weekday and weekend emergency admissions during 2013/14 were both ‘within the expected range’ but he added ‘it has been agreed that this will again be a priority for improvement’.

The document adds: “It has become clear during discussions with governors that some patients are reluctant to undergo surgical procedures on Fridays because of a perception that the risk of postoperative problems will be higher over the following weekend.”

From April to December last year 955 planned operations were cancelled on the day, a ‘small decrease’ from the year before.

A new system is now being trialled where nurses call patients three days in advance to confirm their attendance.

Instructions about not eating before operations are ‘clearer than before’.

Hospital chiefs are also working on a method of gathering feedback specifically from patients waiting more than 18 weeks for treatment.