By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.


Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

CQC orders Mid Yorks to stop using day unit for longer stays

PERFORMANCE: The Care Quality Commission has imposed an urgent legal restriction on the registration of Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, preventing it from using its Pinderfields Hospital day surgical unit for patient staying longer than 23 hours.

The regulator said it followed an unannounced visit on 5 September in response to concerns received that the specialist day unit was being used to provide longer term care, without the resources necessary to support this type of service.

CQC found a number of patients had stayed on the day surgery unit for over 24 hours during July and August 2012. In some cases patients had stayed on the unit for four days or longer.

There was no direct access to washing facilities on the unit and patients were washing from disposable cardboard bowls.

There was no night lighting installed on the unit. Staff explained that if patients were to be admitted through the night, which records showed was a frequent occurrence, full lighting on the ward had to be turned on disturbing other patients’ sleep.

Inspectors were concerned to find there were no inpatient catering facilities on the unit and only sandwiches, and more recently microwave meals, were available to patients.

Patients had no bedside storage available for their personal possessions. Inspectors found patients’ belongings left on the floor at the side of the bed.

Inspectors were concerned about the unsecured access to the adjacent theatre area and the potential hazard this posed for patients and visitors.

Malcolm Bower-Brown, deputy director of CQC in the North, said: “The failings we witnessed on this unit at Pinderfields Hospital were completely unacceptable. CQC took swift action following our inspection to ensure the safety and wellbeing of patients.

“We are heartened by the Trust’s rapid and positive response to our action and they are working closely in partnership with other agencies to address the issues of concern. However we will continue to monitor the position closely and, if necessary, will not hesitate to take further action to ensure patients receive the service they are entitled to expect.”

The trust said in a statement, responding to the CQC, that it had taken immediate action on 13 September when it was asked by the regulator to stop admiting patients for longer than 23 hours.
It said that only 30 patients had stayed for more than 23 hours.
The trust said it has now made significant improvements to “bring the unit to bring it up to the standard required for short stay inpatients”. That includes installation of bedside lights, improvement of the catering service, and installation of lockers. There will also be improvements to the washing facilities imminently.

Interim chief executive Stephen Eames said: “We would like to apologise to any patient whose experience on the day surgical unit may have fallen below the high standards we would expect.

“To our knowledge no patients have come to harm as a result of an inpatient stay on this unit. We do accept that the facilities and environment on this unit were not entirely suitable for inpatients and we are in the process of making significant improvements so it can be used for short stays.”

“The concerns raised by the CQC relate to the facilities and physical environment of the Unit for patients spending more than 23 hours there. They do not relate to the levels of staffing on the unit or the quality of care given by our staff which patients told the CQC was very good.

“We have not been routinely using the Day Surgical Unit for inpatient stays over 23 hours. This happens as part of an escalation policy which enables us to find extra capacity in the hospital for low risk inpatients in times of high demand.”

Readers' comments (3)

  • Pinderfields Hospital seems to have a significant bed shortage which is likely to get worse as the agreed number of new houses are built in the area. Just two weeks ago ambulances were being diverted to Dewsbury hospital as they were not able to take anymore people (Sunday night). Dewsbury A & E looked like there had been a major incident people in wheel chairs and on ambulance trolleys. Staff fantastic and Resus team phenominal.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • It would not surprise me that CQC would find that this is not an isolated case and as pressure increases more trusts open daycase facilities to accommodate low risk patients for more than 1/2days

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Are the CQC going to bother to investigate whether this is common practice across the NHS,and issue the same level of warnings consistently? If so then a significant number of trusts in England should be receiving the same enforcement actions.
    I would rather any relative of mine was boarded here overnight than on a trolley in an A/E corridor
    Is this just the CQC throwing their weight around before they get a pasting in the Francis report?

    Unsuitable or offensive?

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Share this

Post a comment

Related Files

Related Jobs

Sign in to see the latest jobs relevant to you!

Sign up to get the latest health policy news direct to your inbox