Broomfield Hospital gets CQC warning over records

A hospital trust in Essex has been given a formal warning by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) demanding it improves patient records.

Its team visited Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford in April and found "numerous gaps in food and fluid charts" on nine patient records on two wards.

The CQC said standards fell short of what people should be able to expect. It must improve by 3 June, it added.

Mid Essex Hospital NHS Trust said it had "tackled the issue".

Dr Ronan Fenton, the trust's chief medical officer, said: "The patients whose records were inspected by the Care Quality Commission did receive good quality care, but it was the record-keeping aspect that was in need of improvement.

"This is something we have taken very seriously and we have already tackled the issue."

'Serious consequences'

The CQC said the gaps in patient charts meant it was unclear whether people were receiving adequate nutrition and hydration at all times.

It added that most patient discharge checklists were blank or poorly completed, meaning it was difficult to establish what plans had been made to support people when they had been discharged.

Assessments for the risk of falls and people's mobility needs were not always signed, dated or completed, the CQC said.

Inspectors were also concerned that some food charts were discontinued without a reason, which "posed a risk to patients".

Andrea Gordon, CQC deputy director of operations (central region), said: "The law says that these are the standards that everyone should be able to expect.

"Providers have a duty to ensure they are compliant. We will be returning to the trust to follow up on progress and, when we do, we will expect the trust to be able to demonstrate it has made improvements.

"Mid Essex Hospital NHS Trust needs to address these issues or face serious consequences."

Dr Fenton, of the trust, added: "We are confident that we can demonstrate to the CQC that we are strong on these assurance disciplines as well as the many standards of care quality that have been commended by the CQC."

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