Tameside General still needs further improvements

A hospital in Greater Manchester has failed to meet the required standard of care, despite being ordered to improve by the health watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said Tameside NHS Trust had made improvements since April 2009 but said it must take further action.

It is still not performing adequately with regard safe and appropriate care, food and drink and checking systems.

The trust said it was meeting most of the CQC's standards.

CQC inspectors visited the hospital in March 2010 following concerns from patients.

It found the hospital was not meeting standards for staffing and the welfare of patients.

Inspectors gave the trust one month to ensure there was a sufficient number of staff to meet the needs of patients, and that systems were in place to manage and co-ordinate staff.

'Essential standards'

The hospital did this and the CQC lifted the conditions on its registration.

Image caption Tameside General Hospital will continue to be monitored by the Care Quality Commission

Inspectors returned in March of this year and found improvements had been made but that it needed to do more to comply fully with three "essential standards of quality and safety".

They found "positive evidence" of the care provided but risk assessments were not always completed or accurate, particularly with regards the risk of falls.

People who needed help eating were helped by staff but there were some delays in completing nutritional assessments and referrals to dieticians.

The trust is still not employing a dedicated nutrition nurse, despite NICE guidance saying trusts should do so.

There were also inconsistencies in documentation and management of risks, which can potentially put patients at risk, the CQC said.

Further monitoring

The watchdog said it would continue to monitor the trust.

Sue McMillan, the CQC's regional director, said: "Although we welcome the improvements made by Tameside at ward level, the quality and safety of care we observed at the trust was not yet up to the required standard.

"We are already reviewing additional evidence that has been provided by the trust and received from other sources.

"We shall take further action if we are not satisfied that shortfalls are being addressed."

A spokesman for Tameside General said: "It is important to stress that the CQC's concerns relate primarily to the way information is recorded and their inspectors did not find anything to suggest patients were unsafe in our care.

"While we are pleased that we were found to be meeting the majority of the CQC's essential standards, we accept their concerns and are working hard to address them.

"We have a very constructive relationship with the CQC and are working closely with them to achieve further improvements."

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