Hereford & Worcester

Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust is rated as inadequate by CQC inspectors

Worcestershire Royal Hospital Image copyright PA
Image caption Worcestershire Royal Hospital (above); Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre; and Alexandra Hospital, Redditch; are part of the trust

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has been rated as inadequate by government inspectors.

Concerns were raised over leadership, patients being treated in corridors and a shortage of consultants.

The trust is already in special measures and must remain so for a further three to six months, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said.

The trust said it accepted the findings and that a new leadership team was "determined to put things right".

The trust, which was placed in special measures in December 2015, runs Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre and Alexandra Hospital, Redditch.

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Inspectors said there had been "little evidence of improvement" adding, "rather than getting better, our latest inspection shows a noticeable decline in ratings".

However, it said generally, staff were hard-working, passionate and caring and because of that the trust was rated as good for caring.

The trust's chief executive, Michelle McKay, said: "We are working hard to make the necessary improvements to make our services consistently better and safer and ensure that quality improvement is part of our daily business."

Improvements had been made since the inspection, she said.

The trust was told to make significant improvements around staffing and governance in January and the result of further inspections around those issues is due in July, the CQC said.

Issues highlighted by inspectors:

  • Since May 2016 the trust has regularly breached the 12-hour target for patients remaining in the emergency department, and many continued to be cared for in the corridor at Worcestershire Royal Hospital
  • Staffing levels within the emergency department were not planned and reviewed in line with national guidance. There were not enough consultants there to meet the Royal College of Emergency Medicine's workforce recommendations
  • There was no privacy and little confidentiality for patients being cared for on trolleys in the corridors of the emergency departments at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and the Alexandra Hospital. Patients were sometimes waiting by external doors in cold conditions or out of staff view
  • Patient risk assessments were not fully completed on admission and generally not reviewed at regular intervals throughout the patient's stay in hospital and records were not always stored securely. This occurred in various hospital services
  • Aging and unsafe equipment was used in the radiology departments across the trust that was being inadequately risk-rated

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