Hospital Dr News

CQC to place Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust into special measures

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust is to be placed in special measures following its latest CQC inspection.

The trust had been told to make immediate improvements after a CQC inspection in July.

It said there were serious safety issues in the maternity and paediatric emergency services and long waiting lists in cardiology and ophthalmology.

The latest report also follows a critical inspection in January 2016.

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said: “During this inspection and in our previous visits to the Royal Cornwall Hospital we have found persistent evidence of care that falls below those standards. As a result, patients have been let down – and some have been placed at risk.

“It is clear that these are not isolated lapses. I am concerned that the management systems to assess, monitor, and deal with risks to patients have not been operating effectively and the Board has not had the oversight that is required.”

Up to 554 patients in cardiology were delayed as they awaited their appointments between December 2016 and June 2017. Two of the patients died.

Of those seeking eye treatment, 6,503 patients were delayed in having their appointment, while 1,200 patients waited for treatment for the condition of wet age-related macular degeneration.

The Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske has been rated Inadequate overall, with surgery, maternity and gynaecology, end of life and outpatient services also rated as Inadequate.

Baker added: “Royal Cornwall Hospitals has a history of poor performance, with a failure to make improvements over a number of years. The time has now come to bring in external support – which is why I am recommending that the trust goes into special measures.”

Kathy Byrne, chief executive of the trust, said: “We take the CQC report very seriously and I want to apologize to any patient who has waited too long for treatment or not received the very best care.

“We have now established a stable senior leadership team and we want good clinical leadership to be at the heart of our quality improvement program.

“Everyone who works in our hospitals is committed to making the changes our local community and regulators want to see.”

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