Liverpool hospitals warned over A&E safety by watchdog

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Royal Liverpool University Hospital A&EImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The hospitals were subject to unannounced inspections in July

The health watchdog has imposed new measures on two Liverpool hospitals following concerns about keeping patients safe in emergency departments.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said patients were not being assessed quickly enough at Aintree and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

The CQC said it was concerned about keeping patients safe, with long waits in A&E and the risk of infections.

The trust which runs both said its absolute priority was patient safety.

An internal email from bosses at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, seen by BBC North West Tonight, reveals a snap inspection in July which looked at the emergency departments and surgical wards and theatres found a problem with the flow of patients.

The email said: "The CQC has, under Section 31 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008, imposed conditions.

"This means we will be required to provide monthly progress updates to the CQC to demonstrate how we are meeting the requirements around time to triage, waiting times in the department, and timely access to a clinician."

The email states that the CQC "identified patient safety concerns within our emergency departments due to the management of the impact of overcrowding and delays".

"Specifically, they are concerned about our ability to assess patients quickly, to keep patients safe during long waits and to protect patients from the risk of transmission of infection," it adds.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Staff at both hospitals are having feedback briefings on Friday

The email said the full inspection report "will be published in due course, but we wanted to keep you updated with the current position".

In the correspondence, the trust told staff: "We know that this news will be disappointing after the year that we have had.

"It is important that we focus on pulling together to address these issues that are fundamental to delivering safe care, using the feedback from the CQC to enhance our quality and safety improvements to deliver safe patient care."

The CQC feedback is due to be discussed at regular staff briefing sessions on Friday.

Last week, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust was given a similar warning in relation to the stroke units at Furness General and the Royal Lancaster.

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