PERFORMANCE: Croydon Health Services Trust has been told to make “urgent improvements” to surgical procedures and address a shortage of medical equipment at Croydon University Hospital.

The hospital trust was issued with two formal warning notices by the Care Quality Commission following unannounced inspections in June this year.

The inspections took place in the light of a number of recent “never events” in operating theatres, including two wrong lens implants during eye surgery and a swab left inside a patient.

The inspection team, which included leading cardiothoracic surgeon Danny Keenan, found key surgical safety checks were not always done.

It also found equipment shortages, including a lack of monitoring equipment on the maternity unit.

Meanwhile a lack of monitoring equipment in the recovery area in the surgery suite was causing delays to patient transfers and procedures.

Inspectors also found the trust was failing to meet other key quality and safety standards including ensuring appropriate staffing levels and monitoring the quality of services and raised concerns about care in the medical assessment unit for acute medical cases and older patients.

The trust said it had taken immediate action to address the issues highlighted in the warning notices including moving to a new surgical checklist and ordering new equipment.

Managers said an action plan was in place to address staffing issues and significant progress had been made in recruitment while the trust was investing £1.2m in a new acute medical unit.

The trust said all the “never events” had been fully investigated with steps taken to ensure the mistakes did not happen again.

“We can confirm every patient was informed of the mistake, offered a full apology and the appropriate corrective action was taken,” said a statement. “We can also confirm all these patients recovered.”