PERFORMANCE Monitor has given Heatherwood and Wexham Park Foundation Trust three months to correct “poor care and shortfalls in accident and emergency”, the regulator has announced.
The move follows the Care Quality Commission on Wednesday issuing the trust with a warning notice for its failures to comply with both quality and management standards and to raise concerns about issues including staffing levels and patient dignity problems.
The trust has been in special measures for the last four years for its failure to meet emergency department waiting targets and its financial problems.
A Monitor statement said: “The trust is giving Monitor binding undertakings to put right the concerns raised by the CQC within three months.
“In addition, it has agreed to review its oversight of clinical quality, strengthen its ward management; and ensure it has adequate capacity (both beds and staff) to meet future demand for both emergency and elective care.
“Monitor issued an enforcement notice in April 2013 demanding urgent improvements in finance and governance; and in view of the seriousness of this CQC warning notice Monitor will now increase its scrutiny to ensure the recovery plan is implemented.”
The CQC’s inspection followed challenges at the hospital’s A&E department after winter pressures exposed substantial capacity issues. The hospital missed waiting time targets and received complaints from patients.
The trust said the CQC’s report was “fair and balanced” and that it was now addressing the issues raised.
Its chief executive Philippa Slinger added: “We simply did not have enough beds to cope with this level of demand…and we apologise to patients for not giving them the care that they – and we – would hope to deliver in normal circumstances.”