The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that it must improve the way it follows up on test results and deals with serious incidents such as missed diagnoses.
The demand for improvement follows an unannounced visit to the trust on 28 September in response to concerns about the trust’s handling of serious untoward incidents (SUIs).
CQC carried out a further inspection last week to check on progress and on compliance with the essential standards of safety and quality. The results of that inspection will be published in due course. In the meantime, CQC will continue to apply pressure for improvement.
In September, CQC did not see enough evidence to show that systems designed to enable the trust to identify, investigate, analyse and review incidents which had harmed or may harm patients were operating effectively.
Inspectors reported major concerns with two of the essential standards of quality and safety: care and welfare of people who use services, and assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.
CQC told the trust it must put in place a consistent system for reporting histopathology results trust-wide so that patients are assured that early detection of ill health will be followed up to reduce the risk of deterioration in their health status.
The trust must also ensure it protects patients and others against the risks of inappropriate or unsafe care and treatment through the implementation of robust incident reporting procedures and ensuring lessons learnt are cascaded and implemented by staff.
CQC regional director Frances Carey said: “The trust must ensure that all its services are meeting essential standards of quality and safety. These are the standards of care anyone should be able to expect in any hospital and we will hold the trust to account if it continues to fail to meet them. We are already monitoring the trust closely in relation to other areas of care and we are currently carrying out a further review of the all of the essential standards at the trust and we will issue a further report upon completion.”
Following the inspection, the trust was given 28 days to set out the actions it would take to achieve compliance with the essential standards. CQC has been working with Monitor to ensure improvements are made. We are aware that the trust is taking action to put things right, but we will continue to check on progress.
The Trust has made progress in some areas over the last year. In the past months, five compliance conditions placed upon the trust’s registration have been lifted. However, the trust still needs to make significant improvements to improve areas of care.