latest health care news

23.11.18

North Cumbria patients ‘suffered harm’ due to delays, says CQC

Limited bed supply and delays in transferring patients in two north Cumbria hospitals have resulted in “several serious incidents” and some “suffering harm,” the CQC has reported.

The health inspectorate raised concerns following visits to Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary and Whitehaven’s Cumberland Hospital, and said improvements must be made despite some progress.

Inspectors identified several serious incidents caused by patients not being transferred quickly enough to specialist wards, as well as a limited bed supply and nursing vacancies continuing to go unfilled.

The CQC report said: “We were not assured that the emergency department identified and responded quickly enough to deteriorating patients or patients with a number of conditions including sepsis, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and stroke.”

“The trust was aware of the problems and had implemented new processes, however these were yet to be embedded.”

The findings come after inspections of the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust’s services in July and August 2018, and the trust has been rated by the CQC as ‘requires improvement.’

The chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said the trust had “not been able to consistently sustain the pace of improvements that we had previously seen.”

“I am concerned that the patient flow through Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital has deteriorated.

“Patients were left without treatment for too long in these hospitals’ urgent and emergency departments, which resulted in a number of serious incidents.

“However, patients’ feedback was positive and we saw that staff were providing compassionate care. Everyone was clearly working hard to deliver the best care they could under pressure.”

Responding to the report, chief executive the trust Stephen Eames said: “The report shows that we have made some significant improvements since the last inspection in 2017 despite the pressures our services are under.

“In particular, our surgery and maternity services have both received improved ratings of good which is fantastic news for our staff and patients.

“I said throughout the inspection that we were aiming for good and although we didn’t achieve this overall, we have made real progress which we should all be proud of.

“The fact that all services were rated as ‘good’ for caring is testament to our hard-working staff and I want to thank every one of them for the dedication they show day in, day out.”

Image credit - Simon Ledingham

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