Worcestershire's hospitals 'already in special measures' have got even worse - The Evesham Observer

Worcestershire's hospitals 'already in special measures' have got even worse

Evesham Editorial 20th Jun, 2017   0

RATINGS at the local health trust, already branded ‘inadequate’ by inspectors, have shown ‘a noticeable decline’.

That’s among the findings of the chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards following the most recent inspection of facilities at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Prof Richards said: “During our December inspection, we rated the trust inadequate for safety, responsiveness and being well-led.

“This is extremely concerning, both in terms of the quality of care that people can expect from the trust, and for what it says about the trust’s ability to improve.

“This situation must not be allowed to continue and we are considering, along with partner agencies, the best option available to improve services rapidly for the local population.”

Local health chiefs been given a period of three to six months to turn the situation around.

The trust, which runs the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch as well as Worcestershire Royal Hospital and Kidderminster Hospital, was first placed into special measures in December 2015 and this inspection was to see what progress had been made.

The CQC inspected WAHT in November 2016, with unannounced inspections at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, the Alexandra Hospital and Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre on three days the following month.

They rated the trust as Inadequate overall.

It was rated as Inadequate for being safe, responsive and well-led, Requires Improvement for being effective and Good for being caring. Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre and Alexandra Hospital were all rated as Inadequate overall.

Following this inspection the CQC issued a warning notice as significant improvements were required in relation to staffing levels, governance, investigation of clinical incidents and culture.

Inspectors have been back to review progress against this and the report is likely to be published in late July.

The CQC has recommended a three to six month extension of special measures to allow the trust’s new executive team to carry out the urgent improvements needed.

The new chief executive at WAHT, Michelle McKay, has only been in post for a matter of months.

She said: “We are disappointed with the CQC’s findings but we fully accept them.

“I am sorry our patients, their families and carers have been let down…but we are determined to put things right.”

She highlighted a number of successes like tackling A&E waiting times, improved training and a renewed focus of referral to treatment times and added: “In six months time I strongly expect things will feel different, that people will be moving forward, those access targets will be improving and that we can say with confidence that we are doing it.

“I am very optimistic.”

Areas of concern:

  • Flow through the hospitals to prevent patients being treated in corridors.
  • Patient privacy, dignity and confidentiality.
  • The trust must improve waiting times for treatment, especially for cancer.
  • There must be an appropriate mental health room in A&E for people with mental health issues.
  • There must be clear oversight of the deterioration of patients.
  • There must be a robust system for safety checks on all electrical equipment.

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