PERFORMANCE: A Care Quality Commission probe of Tameside Hospital found the foundation trust was failing to ensure patients were treated with respect and getting safe and appropriate care.

The quality regulator also reported that the provider’s systems for assessing and monitoring the quality of its services were “not robust enough to ensure that all risks were identified, integrated and effectively managed”. It said this meant that timely action “was not always taken to protect people who use the services”.

The CQC reported that in May it carried out inspections of Tameside’s emergency care pathway, risk management and incident reporting. This was after it received “correspondence from the North Western deanery and… a report of a review of urgent care commissioned by the trust raised concerns about patient safety and the quality of service provision in the accident and emergency department and escalation areas at the trust”.

The regulator had been told “there was a culture of under reporting of incidents, problems of overcrowding and delays in ambulance handovers, poor implementation of discharge planning and a lack of regular team meetings for staff”.

Inspectors found ambulance handovers to the emergency department took place in a corridor, meaning “that the privacy of patients’ confidential information was not always respected”.

The CQC was told by staff, patients, and an urgent care review commissioned by the trust that management of patients transferred to “escalation areas” was variable. The inspection report states: “We had received concerning information from service users detailing incidents where patients were treated in this area for long periods of time without any reassessment of their treatment needs.

“We were told that patients could be moved to different wards on up to four occasions before a risk or needs assessment was completed. This meant that there was a risk that people could experience unsafe and inappropriate care because their individual needs were not always being appropriately assessed and monitored.”

The report added that consultant involvement in ward rounds was limited to three days a week. It stated: “This meant that senior reviews of patients prior to discharge could be delayed and this affected bed management and discharge planning”.