Kettering Hospital: Inspectors want action on staffing

Kettering General Hospital
Image caption The hospital said it was addressing its "staffing issue"

A hospital in Northamptonshire ordered to improve quality and safety has met some national standards but must do more about staffing, it is told.

A Care Quality Commission (CQC) team visited Kettering General Hospital in September to check action had been taken following an earlier visit.

The hospital had complied with three areas of concern but action was now needed on staffing.

A senior manager said they were trying to address the "staffing issue".

Clare Culpin, the hospital's director of nursing and quality, said she was pleased that "ongoing efforts" to improve patient experience and safety had been recognised.

"We are working very hard to recruit staff to fill our vacancies both in A&E and elsewhere against the background of national NHS staff shortages," she said.

Children's nurses shortage

Recruitment processes were being reviewed to make them faster and more effective and they were exploring new forms of recruitment, she added.

The CQC's findings, based on a September inspection, state there were not always enough qualified, skilled staff to meet people's needs.

Staff reported that they were extremely busy, with a "high use" of agency and bank staff, and a shortage of trained children's nurses.

In May, following a an inspection in March, the CQC issued an enforcement notice demanding improvements on assessing and monitoring.

It criticised the hospital for incomplete audits, actions plans not being followed through and an A&E facility "not fit for purpose".

8 November deadline

Patients were not being cared for in a clean environment or protected from the risk of infection, inspectors found.

The report said that in some areas of the hospital floors appeared dirty with needles and syringes openly stored in the area.

A second enforcement notice was issued in September, based on the care and welfare of patients CQC inspectors had seen in June.

It found there was "insufficient reference" to the complex needs of patients with dementia and pressure sores; inconsistent knowledge of how to prevent pressure ulcers and concerns that not enough children in accident and emergency were receiving the specialist attention they required.

Kettering Hospital must send the CQC a report by 8 November setting out the action it will take to improve standards.

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