Hospital Dr News

Trusts remain in special measures after receiving CQC ratings of inadequate

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has recommended that two trusts remain in special measures after inspections resulted in both receiving ratings of inadequate.

An inspection in September and October 2015 at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust found the trust needed to make a number of urgent improvements to ensure it was delivering safe and effective care.

At the time of the inspection the Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, raised concerns about standards of patient safety with the trust, Monitor, NHS England and local commissioners. A new chief executive was appointed after the inspection to lead on the necessary improvements.

The CQC took enforcement action with regard to the trust’s Urgent and Emergency Services and Medical Care departments following an inspection in November 2014. It followed problems with cancer services in 2013.

Following the latest inspection, staffing continues to be a serious problem; there were not enough staff on inpatient wards to meet the needs of patients and agency staff brought in did not always have the required skills or receive effective inductions, the CQC says.

Richards said: “Once again, we have found a number of serious problems when we inspected the services run by Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust. I am concerned that the trust has not taken sufficient action to address the requirements of our previous inspections and has shown only limited capacity to improve.

“While the staff have been working hard through many issues to drive improvements locally, their efforts have been affected by poor leadership and a high use of agency staff, some of whom are unsuitable in terms of their skills and knowledge.

“We found there was a disconnect between what was happening on the front line and the senior management team; for example the trust board seemed unaware of significant backlogs and patient safety concerns across outpatient services.

Meanwhile, Wye Valley NHS Trust also remains in special measures. During the inspection in September and October 2015, CQC inspectors found the trust needed to make a number of significant improvements.

The trust was placed into special measures in October 2014 following a CQC inspection in June of that year. Improvement has been seen in community services, but there were concerns at Hereford Hospital.

The trust improve its systems to assess, monitor and mitigate risks relating to the health, safety and welfare of people receiving care.

Inspectors were also concerned systems, including those to ensure patients were protected from abuse and avoidable harm, were not operating effectively.

There were not always sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced staff available. Additionally patients were waiting too long to access services at the trust and that this was being poorly managed.

Richards said: “I am concerned the systems to protect patients from harm were not effective and that governance arrangements did not always ensure that when things went wrong they were investigated and that the trust learned from these. This was particularly evident in maternity services.”

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