latest health care news

14.02.19

‘No end in sight’: CQC takes urgent action at East Kent FT as children put at risk by staffing levels

The CQC has taken “urgent action” to protect the children being cared for by East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust after they were being put at risk by “unsafe” staffing levels.

Inspectors found that the two hospitals run by the trust were failing to provide round-the-clock cover in the children’s emergency departments, forcing children to wait in the main A&E with adult patients exhibiting “volatile behaviour” and issues with alcohol.

The inspectors were particularly concerned about reports of “abrupt and judgemental attitudes” shown by administrative and senior staff, and both hospitals faced major issues with staff capacity unable to keep up with high demand.

Staff at the hospitals had also not been trained nor did they have the resources to care for children with mental health conditions or learning disabilities.

The children’s departments at the William Harvey Hospital (WHH) in Ashford and the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital (QEQM) were rated as ‘inadequate’.

The CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals Nigel Acheson said that it had used enforcement powers to ensure that “appropriate action is taken to protect young patients.”

He commented: “It is clear that the children’s services at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust have been working under some pressure, apparently with no end in sight.”

Acheson said the CQC had found a generally strong and caring workforce that had been overstretched, and there were also concerns over data not being properly reported to the board, giving them false assurances about the quality and safety of care.

The CQC said it had used its enforcement powers to impose conditions on the trust for it to comply with, including sending weekly reports to the health inspectorate such as staffing and patient numbers.

Following the report, East Kent Hospitals trust has announced “immediate and significant changes” to its hospital care, beginning a 12-month intensive improvement programme for its children’s services.

Actions taken include increasing staffing levels, retraining staff and implementing a new daily safety checklist across all hospital areas.

The trust’s chief executive Susan Acott said staff had worked quickly. She added that the trust is “changing everyday working practices and how services are managed to make hospital services for children and young people safe.”

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

Turning blue lights green

11/04/2019Turning blue lights green

Polly Billington, director of UK100, a cities network that campaigns on env... more >
Going back to school at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

10/04/2019Going back to school at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Steve Hams, director of quality and chief nurse at Gloucestershire Hospital... more >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to s... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

System working in an uncertain world

09/05/2019System working in an uncertain world

What, exactly, is an integrated care system? Well, it’s unclear, writes Kacey Cogle, policy advisor at NHS Providers. On the NHS England website, integrated care sy... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >