PERFORMANCE: Hull Royal Infirmary is not always ensuring safe care for patients in its acute assessment unit, a Care Quality Commission inspection has found.

Patients and their carers on the unit complained of not being told what was going on and long waits for assessment – up to six and a half hours before they saw a doctor, the inspection report stated. One patient with a suspected fractured back was left sitting up and later had to be scanned to ensure they had not suffered harm from the incident.

Another was meant to be on restricted fluids – but had been given more than recommended, while a third was left with a drip which had run dry.  When patients were transferred to other wards, full assessments of their conditions were not always available to the staff.

Staff on the AAU said busy times were “almost impossible” and that “something has to give”.  Peaks in demand meant that assessments were not always carried out in a timely manner although the inspection team noted that when it visited the unit on a less busy day, assessments were being completed.

The CQC carried out the unannounced inspection in January after concerns were expressed by the public about the AAU. It judged that the trust – Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust – was not meeting the requirement to provide patients with safe and appropriate care and has asked for a report on how it will address this.