Colchester Hospital claims inadequate rating is 'unfair'

Colchester General Hospital
Image caption Inspectors visited the hospital unannounced after receiving information about concerns

A healthcare watchdog has branded Colchester Hospital's medical care and accident and emergency as inadequate.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) criticised patient transfer from resuscitation to an assessment unit without recommended further treatment.

Dying patients failed to receive respect, staffing levels were too low and morale was poor in A&E.

The hospital said the inspections, when emergency departments at many hospitals were under pressure, were unfair.

The commission said the inspections were in response to concerns about performance and care.

Colchester's chief executive Dr Lucy Moore said: "They do not reflect the standards which we expect to deliver consistently for all our patients, and we have already taken urgent action to address shortfalls.

"However, I am disappointed that the CQC has decided to rate Colchester General Hospital as inadequate following visits to the A&E department and Emergency Assessment Unit.

"It is not unreasonable to point out the inspectors visited at a time of unprecedented demand within the NHS when, frankly, many hospitals like ours were struggling."

The hospital said it had taken steps to address some of the issues by moving staff from a closed ward to work in A&E, opening 12 GP beds, recruiting more nurses and creating an emergency division to improve patient flow and capacity issues.

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