ENGLAND’S chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, has placed a condition on Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust’s registration and issued a warning following an inspection.
CQC visited the trust, unannounced, on March 24, following concerns regarding the emergency departments at the trust’s Alexandra Hospital and Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
The inspection focused on the safety of patients in the emergency department and highlighted a number of areas of concern at both hospitals.
CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said: “Our inspectors were concerned at what they found in the emergency departments at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
“We found there were delays in handovers from ambulance crews, there was a shortage of nursing and senior medical staff and we had concerns about safeguarding procedures concerning children and the management of medicines.
“This is why we took immediate action. Our team gave feedback on their findings to the trust as soon as they had finished their inspection and this was quickly followed by CQC issuing warning notices and placing a condition on the trust’s registration.
“We have been closely monitoring the trust since our inspection, working with the Trust Development Authority and other stakeholders, such as the local Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS England, and we will continue to do so.
“Our inspectors will return to the trust unannounced at a future date to check on whether improvements have been made. If improvements are not made we will consider what further action we need to take.
“Significant work is needed to improve services at the trust so that it meets the standards people have a right to expect.
“The trust knows what it now needs to do to ensure change takes place.”
A condition was placed on the trust’s registration with regard to the service at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
This stated that the trust had to ensure appropriately skilled and qualified staff assessed patients on their arrival at the emergency department, with immediate effect. It also stated that the trust needed to ensure systems were in place for patients to receive a safe and prompt handover from the ambulance service in to the emergency department.
Warnings were also issued with regard to the emergency departments at both the hospitals inspected. The trust has been told it must make immediate improvements with regard to security relating to children being cared for at both hospitals and with regard to staffing levels and the maintenance of equipment at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
Under its inspection model, CQC gives individual ratings to each of the core services at NHS trusts and gives trusts an overall rating. Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is yet to be rated under this system however it will undergo a comprehensive inspection next month, where CQC will follow up on the findings of the March inspection.
Full reports for the trust are published on CQC’s website today and are available via the following link: http://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RWP .