Sunday, 15 March 2015

The latest Care Quality Commission inspection of Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals.

Ashford and St. Peter’s NHS Foundation Trust has now had its new enhanced Care Quality Commission inspection. In the past, the CQC relied on unqualified people; a recipe for disaster.

How did it go this time?

Still a lot of problems missed, but it’s difficult to get things right in a short inspection. With a few exceptions, hospitals aren’t good or bad; there are good departments and bad.

The report spots that things are worse at St. Peter’s than they are at Ashford…then again Ashford isn’t where it’s all happening.

There are areas of real concern – including patient safety, record keeping. You’ve heard all about them from me here before. But seriously; not looking after medicines properly?

The real problem (it was for me when the accident and emergency sent me home with an obviously broken ankle) is that they have problems finding and keeping good staff.

There are reasons why good people leave but this is probably not the best place to explain it!

Here’s Eagle Radio’s report;

Eagle Radio - News - Concerns raised about staff shortages at Surrey hospital trust                          

10th March 2015

The results from a recent Care Quality Commission report for Ashford and St

Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been released. 


A team of 42 inspectors rated the trust as 'Good' overall.


It highlighted its effective, responsive, caring and well-led approach to patients.


However, it was rated as 'Requires Improvement' for being safe.


For each individual hospital, Ashford Hospital was rated 'Good', while St

Peter's Hospital in Chertsey was rated as 'Requires Improvement.'

The trust was inspected under a new, more rigorous regime by the CQC.

It found its new senior leadership team promoted good quality care, and its staff were kind compassionate and caring in the accident and emergency department.

It also witnessed safety and quality of services were a priority for the trust, which was reflected by staff at every level.


The Surrey trust had a strong reporting culture and was keen to share learning from incidents.


But the inspection also found the biggest single safety issue was the impact of staff shortages and the difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff.

While the trust used agency, locums and bank staff to help deal with the shortfalls, safe staffing levels were not being consistently met.

Staff indicated to inspectors that the issue with staffing levels was putting them under extra stress and some staff were leaving because of this.

Inspectors identified a number of areas of outstanding practice across the trust:

The trust had developed an older people's assessment and liaison team which enhanced the care of the frail, elderly patients. The specialist team's care had managed to decrease the number of admissions to specialty wards, and also contributed to fewer patients being readmitted.

The electronic patient record system in the intensive care unit was outstanding. Patients benefitted from  comprehensive, detailed records in one place, where all staff could gain access and update them at all times.

The trauma and orthopaedic unit had set up an early discharge team to reduce the length of stay for patients with hip fractures. Patients had continuity of care from the hospital in to their own home as they had the same staff. This reduced their length of stay in hospital.

There was good joint working between the bereavement services, chaplaincy services and the mortuary services to ensure as little distress as possible to bereaved relatives, with caring staff throughout the hospital who were seen to treat patients at the end of their lives and their relatives with dignity and respect.


The trust has been told that it must make improvements in nine areas including:

The trust must ensure that medicines were stored at temperatures that provide effective treatment.

All trained paediatric nurses must be up to date with medicines management training.

Patients' records must be kept securely and located promptly when required.

All departments must have sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, skilled and experienced nursing staff on the units and the outreach team to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of patients at all times.

In the critical care department, there must be a full range of safety, quality and performance data collected, evaluated and reported. The trust must ensure it has sight of this data at board level.



CQC's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said: "I am pleased to report that when we inspected the hospitals run by Ashford and St Peters Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, much of what we saw was good.


"It was clear that staff took great pride in their work, and that they felt the leadership team were approachable.


"Teams communicated well with each other, and we saw some good examples of collaborative working to improve the treatment and care people received.


"We, also found areas where the trust needs to make improvements - in particular the retention and recruitment of staff in a number of clinical departments.


"While the trust appears to be maintaining its upward trajectory - it still needs to ensure that people using its services receive good quality treatment and care at all times.


"People are entitled to receive treatment and care in services which are consistently safe, effective, caring and responsive to their needs.


"The trust has told us they have listened to our inspectors' findings and begun to take action where it is required.

"We will return in due course to check that the improvements needed have been made."


'We recognise there are areas that need improving'

I hope the CQC keeps the pressure on them.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

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