Weston Hospital A&E showing improvement after warnings

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Weston General HospitalImage source, Google
Image caption,
Weston General Hospital's emergency department was rated "inadequate" by inspectors last year

A hospital that was told to improve by the health watchdog has begun to do so.

Weston General Hospital's A&E department was rated "inadequate" by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in February 2019 and served with a warning notice two months later.

An inspection in December reported safety concerns and a lack of support for staff, but a visit in July found improvements had been implemented.

The hospital said it "recognised there is still more to do".

The latest CQC inspection found the service had enough medical staff to keep patients safe but not enough were permanent.

Inspectors were concerned about the trust's reliance on the emergency department's clinical lead, which created a "huge vulnerability".

There was also a shortage of permanent nurses, with one in five roles vacant, and a heavy reliance on bank and agency staff.

Backlog reduced

However, the CQC said there was good oversight, a backlog of incidents had been significantly reduced, and staff felt respected and able to focus on patients' needs.

The CQC's Amanda Williams said: "Weston General Hospital is now part of University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust and at this inspection we found that the new leadership team had started to implement the improvements the department needed.

"The team know what further improvements are needed. We will return to check that those improvements have been made at a later date."

Carolyn Mills, the trust's chief nurse, said: "We recognise there is still more to do to build on the improvements noted by the CQC and would like to thank staff for their ongoing dedication and professionalism."

The A&E has been shut overnight since July 2017 because it could not guarantee safe staffing levels.

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