Thursday, September 28, 2023

Basildon hospital “continues to fail” says government watchdog

THE Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that it needs to improve further to comply with all essential standards of quality and safety.

CQC has demanded swift action and says if improvement is not made the next step will be enforcement action.

They carried out a review of the trust in December as part of their programme of planned reviews. They assessed the trust against all 16 essential standards.

Inspectors were most concerned about nursing care planning and assessment, and discharge practices. Key risk assessments for some patients were not always in place. These issues have been raised with the hospital before and the CQC says that it will take enforcement action if significant improvements are not made and maintained.

The trust also needs to take action:

in respect of risk management processes within the Cardio-thoracic Centre
to improve understanding and awareness relating to the care and treatment of elderly people who have dementia
to ensure patients’ nutritional needs are identified and met
to ensure that all equipment is checked and is safe.

CQC also suggested improvements are made in respect of six essential standards to ensure the trust remained compliant.

Inspectors found that patient feedback about their care and treatment was generally positive, as were views about cleanliness and hand hygiene across all areas.

Significant improvements have been made to stroke services in the last year and the trust has a dedicated team in place that works on the prevention and management of falls, helping to reduce the number of falls in the hospital.

The trust has taken action in response to the compliance action we placed on them regarding the management of serious incidents, including steps to improve governance.

There was also evidence that the trust has taken action to review and improve systems to manage and monitor the prevention and control of infection, following previous inspections by CQC.

CQC Regional Director Frances Carey said; “Despite having all of its registration conditions lifted, the trust has not yet achieved full compliance across standards. We have made repeated visits to the trust and each time we have had to impose at least one new compliance action. The trust needs to ensure that it sustains improvement across the board. By law, providers of health care services have a legal responsibility to make sure they are meeting the essential standards of quality and safety.

“We have told the trust where it needs to do more to comply and where it needs to take steps to ensure that where it does comply it continues to. We have asked the trust to tell us what action it will take to improve. We will check to make sure that the improvements have been made and take enforcement action if necessary.”

Under the Health and Social Care Act 2008, the Care Quality Commission has a number of new enforcement powers to deal with underperforming services – to inspect and investigate, to issue a statutory warning notice, to issue a financial penalty notice in lieu of prosecution and, in the most serious cases, to prosecute or suspend registration. In the most serious cases, the Commission can prosecute or cancel registration.

CQC’s next review will report on the trust’s progress.


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