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06.06.16

North Middlesex issued with warning over emergency department

A warning notice has been issued to North Middlesex University NHS Trust after an unannounced CQC inspection found ineffective treatment of patients in the emergency room.

The inspection, in April, found the department was lacking middle grade doctors and consultants and suffered delays in assessing patients and moving them to specialist wards.

The trust has now been given until 26 August to make improvements.

Professor Edward Baker, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals, said: “People going to the emergency department at the North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust are entitled to an service that is safe, effective and responsive.

“When we inspected we found that patients were not receiving the quality of care that they should have been. We have strongly encouraged the trust to engage with other organisations across the local health and social care system to resolve this challenging issue.”

Julie Lowe, the trust’s chief executive, said that there were currently only seven out of 15 emergency department consultants and seven out of 13 middle grade emergency doctors in place, leading to “unacceptably long” waiting times.

“We have undertaken extensive recruitment exercises and despite our best efforts have, so far, been unable to fill all the posts, although we have made good progress in recent weeks with the support of partners,” she said. “We are working hard with our health partners to resolve the issues and bring the service back to the standard both we and our patients expect us to achieve.”

The NHS has faced widespread criticism over its staff shortages recently.

Last year NHE interviewed Paul Weaving, associate director of infection prevention and control at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, about the hospital’s success in tackling healthcare associated infections.

(Image c. Rui Vieira from PA Wire and Press Association Images)

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