Southport and Ormskirk hospitals ordered to improve
Two hospitals in Merseyside and Lancashire have been ordered to improve after inspectors identified a range of safety concerns.
Southport and Formby District General Hospital and Ormskirk General Hospital were inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Staff skill levels in A&E at both sites fell below those needed to provide "a consistently safe service".
And maternity services at Ormskirk were rated "inadequate" by the CQC.
The North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre, based at Southport, was also found to be inadequate, with staffing levels "significantly lower" than national guidelines recommend.
There was a "lack of suitably qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet the needs of the patients," the report said.
'Working under pressure'
Overall, Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals NHS Trust, which manages the two sites, was rated as "requires improvement" following the November inspection.
The report also found the trust had a higher rate of Clostridium difficile infection than the national average.
Professor Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals, said: "It is clear that Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust has a number of issues it has to address."
However, the inspectors said they saw "many examples" that showed staff were "caring, compassionate and treating patients with dignity, even when they were working under significant pressure".
The CQC also rated several services as "good", including children and young people's services and community services for children and young families.
Trust chief executive Jonathan Parry said he was "delighted" with the praise for the trust's "fantastic, caring and proud staff".
He added: "We welcome the CQC report and we will be working hard over the months ahead to address the issues the inspectors have brought to our attention."
The trust said it had asked the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to review the maternity service "so the trust, staff and patients can be satisfied it meets the very highest standards".