CQC inspection finds racial divisions at troubled Colchester hospital

Serious concerns have been raised about Colchester General Hospital after an unannounced inspection by the CQC found it is still failing to make improvements.

The hospital currently has an inadequate rating from the regulator and has been in special measures since 2013, but inspectors raised a significant number of concerns, especially about Peldon ward.

The report said that there was “a clear divide between overseas nurses and nurses from the UK” on the ward, with nurses from overseas and of black and minority ethnic origin reporting that they had been mistreated and had not received support from management.

The inspection comes at a time when the NHS is seeking to improve its performance on racial discrimination after a report found staff complaining of racist incidents at three-quarters of trusts.

Professor Jane Cummings, the chief nursing officer, also recently stated that NHS staff from EU countries are “hugely valued and appreciated” following the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

General morale in Peldon ward was very low, with nurses reporting that they did not feel supported by the ward manager, who was observed shouting at staff in front of patients, and that senior management did not respond to their complaints.

This led to concerns about patient care on the ward. Inspectors observed patients with dementia being placed in bed with their feet tilted upwards to prevent them from wandering, and one patient who did not receive intravenous medication for 10 hours after it was prescribed.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said: “It was a real concern to us that significant improvements had not been made.”

He said that, because of the lack of improvement, he could not recommend an extension to the special measures, but he was “optimistic” that services would improve as a result of a new partnership, which has seen the chair and chief executive of Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust overseeing Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust.

The CQC also found that new patients were being left waiting in corridors or the ambulance bay, without an effective procedure to ensure they were effectively screened.

The hospital was also failing to properly complete safer surgery checklists before and after surgical procedures.

Colchester had the highest amount of ‘never events’ of any individual trust in the past year, including wrong site surgery and foreign objects being left in patients.

The CQC imposed urgent conditions on the hospital’s licence regarding diagnostic, screening and surgical procedures.

Nick Hulme, who was appointed CEO of the trust in May, offered a heartfelt apology, promising the trust would make changes.

He said: “We need to take a long hard look at ourselves in the mirror. We are not consistently delivering a high quality of care to the people we serve in a timely and efficient manner.

“People in north east Essex deserve better from their local hospital trust and I want to give them a heartfelt apology.

“Everyone at the trust – including myself – needs to ask themselves what they are going to do different today to improve the care we provide.

“Members of staff need to be held to account and to reflect what they can do as individuals and in their teams to make this hospital better for patients. Put simply, we have not been good enough and need to do better.”

(Image c. Nick Ansell from PA Wire)

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Kirsty   20/07/2016 at 13:01

I hope this manager has been removed from post and disciplined this is unacceptable as a manager and RGN myself I have never ever shouted at anyone at work she is obviously unable to manage herself never mind anyone else.

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