PERFORMANCE: Kettering General Hospital Foundation Trust has been issued with an warning notice by the Care Quality Commission after inspectors identified a series of failings.

Inspectors from the CQC carried out an unannounced inspection at the hospital over three days in March visiting 10 wards.

The CQC said: “We have taken enforcement action against Kettering General Hospital Foundation Trust to protect the health, safety and welfare of people using this service.”

Inspectors found some patients experienced delays of over 10 hours in the accident and emergency department while waiting for a bed to become available on a ward.

The inspection report said some patients were in pain and discomfort while waiting.

The trust has been highlighted as one of the worst in the country for its A&E performance, seeing just 78 per cent of patients within for hours in the four weeks ending 5 May.

Nursing and medical staff were seen moving around A&E without cleaning their hands and the department was described as dirty.

The report said: “Open storage of needles and syringes were seen on the workstation in the resuscitation area. Two sharps containers were overflowing with syringes.”

Inspectors also found staff working at the trust did not always follow proper procedures on routine observations, assessing the risk of blood clots, pressure ulcers, and recording the use of medicines.

While managers believed policies were in place, staff were unaware and there continues to be a low uptake of staff training which the CQC previously highlighted in October 2012.

Overall the CQC found the trust did not meet standards on cleanliness, supporting workers and assessing the quality of services.

It failures had minor and moderate impact on patients, the CQC said.

The trust has accepted its A&E needs to be refurbished and modernised.

Kettering chief executive Lorene Read said: “The trust has been very concerned by some of the findings of the March inspection and we have been vigorously addressing the issues raised.”

She said the trust was working hard to address the pressure in A&E. She added: “While our action plan is comprehensive and addresses all of the issues raised by the CQC I also think that it is important that, for balance, we recognise some of the positive points the inspection found.”