More checks made in review of ward safety
Health bosses have stepped up the number of checks they make on wards at Leicester's three hospitals to ensure they pick up on poor care.
They have also said patients and the public will soon be able to see how well each ward has scored for aspects such as compassion and cleanliness.
In addition, they are making it easier for staff to raise concerns about poor patient care.
The measures follow publication of the Francis report into failings at the scandal-hit Stafford Hospital where, it emerged in 2009, hundreds of patients could have died because of "shocking" levels of care in the hospital's accident and emergency department.
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Moira Durbridge, director of risk and safety at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, said the trust's four patient information and liaison officers had also been inundated with calls from angry and upset ex-patients at Leicester's hospitals following the findings of the inquiry into Stafford Hospital.
She said: "We have been doing about two management walkabouts a week for the past three or four years and are now trying to do four or five a week.
"Our programme has tried to cover as many of the 95 general wards we have, as well as laboratories, theatres and clinics, but we are trying to increase these visits and the visibility of the executive team so staff have unedited access to members if they want to raise concerns."
The trust is also relaunching a scheme which makes it easy for staff to report worries anonymously. Ms Durbridge said: "There is a phone line and we are extending this so people can make reports by text and e-mail. We also have a freephone number patients can call if they want to complain or voice concerns. They don't have to make a formal complaint."
In January, there were a total of 163 complaints, with the highest numbers relating to medical care and communication.
Ms Durbridge said: "This amounts to 1.6 complaints per 1,000 patient admissions or attendances and we don't yet know the figures for February and whether the Francis report has led to an increase."
A system of scoring how well individual wards are caring for patients is due to be published on the trust's website within the next two months.
It was first introduced about 18 months ago and the results given to hospital managers.
Carole Ribbins, director of nursing at Leicester's hospitals, said: "We have been developing the health checks and now have a system which scores the wards on its standards including cleanliness, compassion, complaints and compliments as well as being given an overall rating.
"We are planning to publish these on our website within the next couple of months."
Patients who want to raise a concern about treatment at Leicester's hospitals can call 08081 788337.