Beds, Herts & Bucks

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust 'requires improvement'

The new QE2 Hospital Image copyright Google
Image caption "Significant improvements" are needed at the QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City

A health trust which manages four Hertfordshire hospitals has been told by inspectors it must improve.

The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust was given a "requires improvement" rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

It said "significant improvements" to the trust's surgery services and the urgent care centre at the QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City were required.

The trust said staff were "working hard to improve the quality of services".

The trust, which runs the Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Hertford County Hospital, the QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City and the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre near Watford, was inspected in March and April.

The QEII was rated "inadequate" with the report saying triage was inconsistent and early warning scores were not used to identify patients whose condition was at risk of deteriorating.

The service did not always provide care and treatment based on national guidance and staff did not always have the right skills or knowledge to provide high standards of care, inspectors added.

'Serious incidents'

At the Lister, which was rated as "requires improvement", concerns included issues surrounding infection control and not all the services had effective systems for identifying risks.

The CQC said there were also unacceptable levels of serious incidents in the surgical division and patients waiting for elective surgery had operations cancelled due to the lack of surgical beds as medical patients were on surgical wards.

The Mount Vernon Cancer Centre also "requires improvement", with concerns including staff not completing mandatory or safeguarding training.

Hertford County Hospital was rated as "good".

Urgent and emergency services at the Lister improved its rating from inadequate in 2016 to good and maternity services are now rated good overall after requiring improvement in 2016.

The trust said its rating was the "anticipated outcome" and chief executive Nick Carver said the findings were a "fair assessment".

"Since the trust's last inspection, our staff - as well as colleagues from partner organisations - have been working hard to improve the quality of services experienced by patients," he said.

"The CQC set out the improvements it required to be made - a process that is now well under way."

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