Stoke & Staffordshire

Concerns over 'minimum standards' at Stafford Hospital

Stafford Hospital sign
Image caption Inspectors visited for two days in June and found the hospital was compliant in 8 out of 12 categories

Scandal-hit Stafford Hospital is still not meeting some essential standards, the health regulator has said.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors say concerns remain about staffing, recruitment, complaints and how medicines are managed.

Sue Jordan, of the CQC, said while the hospital was not meeting the "minimum standards" in these areas, things were getting better at the hospital.

Hospital bosses say they want to have all the issues sorted out by December.

Ms Jordan, who works as a compliance manager, said: "If we were really concerned about the immediate safety of patients, we would be taking enforcement action.

"What we're doing at the moment is allowing the hospital the opportunity to improve."

In a statement, Stafford Hospital said: "The review confirms the hard work undertaken by the trust to improve quality and safety at Stafford Hospital.

"Eight minor concerns have been lifted and we are committed to ensuring that we meet the four remaining standards by December 2011."

A public inquiry is taking place into failings at the hospital after a higher-than-expected number of deaths occurred between 2005 and 2008.

The inquiry is currently looking at the role of regulators and follows a Healthcare Commission report in 2009 which found "appalling standards" of care.

The CQC regulates all providers of health and adult social care in England.

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