CQC Inspectors Criticise Trust Over Missed Deadline

Care Quality Commission inspectors have criticised a troubled hospital trust for failing to meet deadlines related to care.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust had been particularly criticised for allowing patients to die on trolleys.

And the publication of a preliminary report from the commission revealed that patients have been placed on trolleys in the corridors of Accident and Emergency even when space was available.

This led to considerable criticism after it was included in May board papers.

Findings were based on two unannounced Care Quality Commission inspections in April, following a section 29A warning letter issued in January.

The trust had been summoned to make improvements to care by 10th March, but inspectors discovered that 12-hour target breaches are still common at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

And despite the warnings, the commission concluded that a culture of treating corridors as an extension of the Accident and Emergency department remains prominent.

“Concerns continue regarding the care of patients in the WRH ED corridor as their privacy and dignity was significantly compromised. Patients were moved to and cared for in the corridor even when there was other capacity in the department,” the commission reflected.

In the same Accident and Emergency department, the Care Quality Commission reported that an inspector was forced to personally intervene after patient was not provided with critical intravenous antibiotics.

There were also “some examples of prescriptions which had not been given on numerous occasions, without clear reasons for the omission being recorded”.

A spokesperson for the trust stated that the organisation conceded that there had been failings in care.

“We have, with the support of NHS Improvement and our local CCGs, put in place an improvement programme to address the concerns raised by the CQC. Going forward we will be able to show that we have improved and others will be able to see the improvement for themselves.”

The emergency department at the Worcestershire acute trust had come under massive pressure during the winter months, with the trust even being specifically singled out by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Trust figures indicate that 308 patients waited for more than 12 hours in Accident and Emergency over the winter period.

This peaked at 167 patients in January, an average of more than five a day, accounting for 17% of all 12 hours A&E waits in England that month.

The final report on the Worcestershire trust is due to be published in June, according to a representative from the commission.


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