This article was published on April 24th, 2017
The NHS Trust is back in special measures after the CQC assessed Scunthorpe General and gave it an ‘inadequate’ rating. This is disappointing news for Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust as it is one of the first hospital trusts to re-enter special measures after successfully improving conditions enough to get out of them.
Scunthorpe General and Diana Princess of Wales Hospital were inspected by the CQC who found that the quality of care had deteriorated and that patient safety was at risk.
The Trust supports 350,000 people with its various healthcare services throughout the North and North East Lincolnshire area and the East Riding of Yorkshire. It went into special measures in 2013 and was one of the first trusts to do so after mortality rates were above average. The trust came out of special measures in April 14 but has now re-entered after the Health watchdog identified key areas of concern.
Two sites gave inspectors significant concerns in A&E and also outpatient and maternity services.
Inspectors commented on staff moral:
“there was a sense of fear amongst some staff groups regarding repercussions of raising concerns and bullying and harassment”.
There were also concerns about waiting times for important surgery after it was found that two patients had been waiting for over a year for surgery and basic care came under scrutiny in the urgent and emergency department:
Inspectors found that only 1 in 33 sets of notes reviewed, showed food and water had been given and were not confident that patients were being properly administered basic care such as a drink of water.
The regulator was also concerned about the fact that the assessment known as ‘ The Paediatric Early Warning Score’ was not being used in Scunthorpe General and not used effectively at the Princess of Wales Hospital. It is an assessment used in emergency departments to ensure any decline in a child’s health is identified quickly and treated accurately.
Lack of proper staffing of both nurses and doctors has been identified as a key factor for many of the failings at both hospitals and poor leadership has been identified as an area for attention.
The interim chief exec for the Trust commented:
“We are disappointed with, but fully accept, the shortfalls the Care Quality Commission has identified.
“We are sorry we have let down our patients, their families and carers by not meeting the quality standards they rightly expect.
The deputy chief inspector of hospitals at CQC, commented:
“Having seen improvements to patient care previously, we are disappointed that our latest inspection of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust found these improvements had not been sustained and there had been an overall deterioration in quality and patient safety. We will continue to monitor the trust and will return to check on the progress it must make. NHS Improvement will be working closely with the trust to ensure full support is available to make the improvements needed.”
It is clear that our NHS is currently struggling with the sheer numbers of patients needing help and not having enough staff or resources, sometimes, to do the job as well as they would like. Despite this, they do a wonderful job most of the time but, on occasion, things go wrong.
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