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Reluctantly Released Today!!!
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A damning report into safety standards at Jersey's General Hospital has finally been made public.
The Aitkenhead Report was commissioned following the death of a patient, 75-year-old Joseph Vasse, following a routine hernia operation.
The existence of the publication has been known about for a month, but authorities have always said the law prevented them from releasing it.
Today, health bosses say the report was just a snapshot in time, and things have since improved.
Professor Aitkenhead found:
- Safety is below England's minimum standards.
- Risk management is eight years behind the UK.
- Five doctors are under-performing.
Professor Alan Aitkenhead said: "Jersey General Hospital is a small general hospital.
"It undertakes relatively minor procedures because major procedures tend to be exported to the mainland.
"It has fewer medical staff than hospital in the United Kingdom and less management resources than hospitals in the United Kingdom and all of these things have tended to make things rather slower then than has happened in hospitals on the mainland."
He also found:
- Doctors have no financial incentive to improve themselves.
- Staff believe there is political and media pressure not to suspend doctors after serious incidents.
- The man in charge is on a temporary contract, with no obvious successor waiting in the wings.
Professor Aitkenhead's first report was carried out last summer.
He also did a follow up last month. And he spotted signs of improvement.
The need for clinical governance has been recognised.
He says safety standards are improving.
But he is sticking by one of his overriding arguments that doctors need appraisals.
Today hospital bosses had their say.
Clinical director Dr Andrew Luksza said: "Not that long ago we had doctors on restricted practise, so we had picked up concerns, and now there are no doctors on restrictive practise so we've taken action and the situation has improved."
Hospital Director Andrew McLaughlin said: "Jersey General Hospital is the safest hospital in Jersey and always has been.
"It's now better than ever and we carry on trying to make it as good as we can be.
"We have fantastic staff.
"They're completely commited to what they do and they deliver a quality of care that exceeds that I've seen in hospitals across the UK."
For weeks the focus has been on getting this report published.
Now it is out in the open, the pressure is on for health bosses to prove to islanders that they have learned lessons and that the hospital is safe.