Hospital wards told to improve
HOSPITAL inspectors have ordered improvements on two wards at Leicester Royal Infirmary after finding a series of failings in patient care and safety. A team from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) arrived unannounced at the hospital on July 18 after receiving reports of concerns “from a variety of sources” relating to Wards 42 and 43.
Ward 42 cares for patients with stomach and bowel conditions and Ward 43 for those with liver disease.
Inspectors said the hospital must make sure the wards are properly staffed after seeing that in the 28 days before their visit, 57 shifts were understaffed.
Among other failings they found four swabs and a urine sample on Ward 42 ready for testing which were still there seven hours later.
Inspectors were told there had not been time to print off labels or arrange collection.
Sluice doors were left open as well as a number of side rooms, which increased the risk of spreading infection.
They added: “On Ward 42 we observed four com- modes stored in the sluice.
“We could not see if these had been cleaned and were ready for patient use although they looked visibly clean.
“We found the same issue at our last inspection in June 2016.”
In addition, oxygen cylinders were not secured and a fire exit door and entrance to Ward 42 was restricted by cleaning trolleys and metal cages which could delay evacuation if there was a fire.
Inspectors said patients were not always receiving the medication they should.
In one case, a syringe pump being used to manage the symptoms of a dying patient did not adhere to NHS safety guidelines and was not being checked hourly as it should have been.
Diabetic patients were not always getting the insulin they should and medicine was not always properly stored or secured.
However, inspectors added: “We found most members of staff to be polite and courteous to patients, although there were isolated incidents on Ward 42 where doctors and catering staff were not courteous in their manner.
“On Ward 43, we saw nursing and care staff responding with compassion when patients requested help and saw a number of examples of good care.
“For example, we saw nurses and care staff asking patients whether they were comfortable and whether they required pain relief.”
Inspectors did not give a formal rating as the inspection was limited to two wards.
Julie Smith, chief nurse at Leicester’s hospitals, said: “We welcome this report which gives us an opportunity to address the findings and make sustained improvements, as getting care right for all our patients every time is what we strive to achieve.
“The report reflects that patients and relatives spoke positively about their experience.
“The inspectors saw staff providing compassionate care and spending appropriate time with patients.
“The inspectors noted a number of concerns particularly around practices and processes.
“We have taken immediate action to address all these areas.”