PERFORMANCE: Inspectors have demanded improvements at West Cumberland Hospital after finding its staffing was “at times inadequate” and it was failing to maintain accurate patient records.

The Care Quality Commission this week published a report into the hospital, run by North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, following an unannounced inspection in May.

The regulator found that patients did not experience required standards of care because staffing levels were “at times inadequate”.

The report said: “There were not enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet patients’ needs and patients were not protected from the risks of unsafe or inappropriate care and treatment because accurate records were not maintained.”

There was a lack of succession planning to replace doctors who left, and consultant vacancies were being filled by locums.

Some staff felt patients’ care was often compromised, particularly at weekends, when there was “less medical cover”. The CQC concluded there may not have been enough doctors available at night or at weekends.

However, the report also said trust managers had been able to show plans were in place to rectify many of the issues around staffing and record keeping.

The report detailed long waits experienced by some patients in the emergency department due to a lack of available beds elsewhere in the trust and problems with discharges.

Some care plans were based on pre-written templates and involved box-ticking, which was not a “person centred approach”, the CQC found.

Meanwhile patient records were not always updated with information on pressure ulcers or minor wounds, meaning the records could not support the patients’ full care needs.

Chris Platton, the trust’s acting director of nursing, said: “There can be no excuses for not meeting the expected standards set out.”

It was “unacceptable” that staff and patients had “endured standards of care which fall way below that of which any of us would expect.”

The drive to improve care “continues with vigour,” Mrs Platton added, with a focus on staffing, recruitment and better workforce planning.

“We are on a long journey relating to improving the quality of the services we deliver and the feedback, so far, from this inspection shows that we are taking steps in the right direction.”

The CQC asked the provider to send a report by July 16 setting out how it would make improvements to bring it in line with the required standards.

 

 

 

 

The Care Quality Commission published a report into the hospital, which is run by North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, this week, following an unannounced inspection in May.

Patients did not experience good enough care, treatment or because staffing levels were “at times inadequate”, the CQC found.

The report said: “There were not enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet patients’ needs and patients were not protected from the risks of unsafe or inappropriate care and treatment because accurate records were not maintained.”

There was a lack of succession planning to replace doctors who left, and consultant vacancies were being filled by locums.

Some staff felt that patients’ care was often compromised, particularly at weekends when there was “less medical cover”. The CQC concluded that there may not have been enough doctors available at night or at weekends.

However the report also said that trust managers had been able to show that plans were in place to rectify many of the issues around staffing and record keeping.

The report detailed long waits experienced by some patients in the emergency department due to a lack of available beds elsewhere in the trust, and problems with discharges.

Some care plans were based on pre-written templates and involved box-ticking, which was not a “person centred approach”, the CQC found.

Meanwhile patient records were not always updated with information on pressure ulcers or minor wounds, meaning the records could not support the patients’ full care needs.

Chris Platton, the trust’s acting director of nursing, said: “There can be no excuses for not meeting the expected standards set out.”

It was “unacceptable” that staff and patients had “endured standards of care which fall way below that of which any of us would expect.”

The drive to improve care “continues with vigour,” Mrs Platton added, with a focus on staffing, recruitment and better workforce planning.

“We are on a long journey relating to improving the quality of the services we deliver and the feedback, so far, from this inspection shows that we are taking steps in the right direction.”

The CQC asked the provider to send a report by July 16 setting out how it will make improvements to bring it in line with the required standards.