Essex

Harlow's Princess Alexandra Hospital 'requires improvement'

Princess Alexandra in Harlow Image copyright Google
Image caption Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow still "requires improvement" but was rated outstanding on other areas

A hospital has been criticised for a lack of "sufficient and suitably qualified staff" by inspectors.

Princess Alexandra in Harlow, Essex received a "requires improvement overall" rating from by the Care Quality Commission.

Inspectors looked at six core services during visits in March and April.

Hospital chief executive Lance McCarthy said it had made "significant improvements" and was "delighted" children's services were "outstanding".

The hospital was originally placed in special measures in June 2016 after it was rated "inadequate" overall.

It first moved to the better grade of "requires improvement" in March 2018.

Image caption Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow has emerged from special measures

Following the latest inspection, the trust was told it must improve record-keeping in its urgent and emergency, maternity and medical care services.

The CQC's chief inspector of hospitals Prof Ted Baker said improvements were also needed to "ensure there were sufficient and suitably qualified staff available and systems to guard against risks were fully embedded to ensure patients were protected from avoidable harm".

Inspectors rated as outstanding the children and young people's services and praised the introduction of a dementia-friendly pathway by theatre staff to improve patients' experience.

Mr McCarthy said: "The feedback from the CQC inspectors on areas that need further improvement reflects actions that we already have in place and changes that we are making.

"I am pleased that the CQC has recognised the hard work and commitment of all of our people to providing high quality care for our patients."

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