Devon

Torbay Hospital A&E patients 'at risk of harm'

Hospital
Image caption The hospital's emergency department has been rated inadequate

Patients in Torbay Hospital's emergency department are "at risk of avoidable harm" say inspectors.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) blames a "lack of urgency" to treat people because there are not always enough senior doctors or nurses.

The emergency department has been rated inadequate and the trust as requiring improvement.

The trust claimed it had addressed many of the areas identified as needing improvement.

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Overall Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, which includes community health services and adult social care services, was rated outstanding for caring.

Mental health services and adult social services were both rated good, while patient transport services were outstanding.

Community health dental care, special care dental services and community health services were rated outstanding.

Image caption Mairead McAlinden, the trust's chief executive: "We are a new organisation at the beginning of a massive change programme"

The trust was created from two separate trusts seven months ago.

Chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said: "I appreciate that it is sometimes hard to manage change in large organisations yet, despite challenges we have found that there is a strong vision for the future.

"However, there are some areas where improvements are required.

"On our inspection we found there was an apparent lack of urgency to assess or treat some patients promptly by at Torbay Hospital."

Mairead McAlinden, the trust's chief executive, said: "We are a new organisation at the beginning of a massive change programme to deliver an exciting new model of care and tackle the long standing challenges we face as a health and care system.

"We have had longstanding pressure on our urgent care service and at the time of our inspection our urgent and emergency care service was at maximum escalation.

"We have already addressed many of the areas identified as needing improvement."

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