Watch­dog says fail­ing hos­pi­tal has got WORSE

Stockport Express - - Front Page - ALEX SCAPENS alex.scapens@men­media.co.uk @AlexS­capen­sMEN

STEP­PING Hill Hos­pi­tal, which was told last year to make ur­gent im­prove­ments, has got WORSE, a wor­ry­ing re­port has found.

Se­ri­ous con­cerns were raised about the state of the A&E de­part­ment dur­ing an in­spec­tion and bosses were warned by a health watch­dog that changes had to be made. But when the Care Qual­ity Com­mis­sion re­turned to the hos­pi­tal in March and June this year, they dis­cov­ered cer­tain ar­eas of Stock­port NHS Foun­da­tion Trust had ‘de­te­ri­o­rated’.

Step­ping Hill was rated ‘in­ad­e­quate’ over­all for safety and ur­gent and emer­gency ser­vices, with safety of med­i­cal care also re­ceiv­ing the low­est grade.

Over­all both Step­ping Hill Hos­pi­tal and the trust were rated as ‘re­quir­ing im­prove­ment’. The trust’s chief ex­ec­u­tive has now apol­o­gised to any pa­tients who were ‘failed’.

STEP­PING Hill Hos­pi­tal, which was told last year to make ur­gent im­prove­ments, has got WORSE, a wor­ry­ing re­port has found.

Se­ri­ous con­cerns were raised about the state of the A&E de­part­ment dur­ing an in­spec­tion and bosses were warned by a health watch­dog that changes had to be made.

But when the Care Qual­ity Com­mis­sion re­turned to the hos­pi­tal in March and June this year, they dis­cov­ered cer­tain ar­eas of Stock­port NHS Foun­da­tion Trust had ‘de­te­ri­o­rated.’

Step­ping Hill was rated ‘in­ad­e­quate’ over­all for safety and ur­gent and emer­gency ser­vices, with the safety of med­i­cal care also re­ceiv­ing the low­est grade.

Surgery and end of life care how­ever scored ‘good’ in all five key ar­eas, with the trust re­ceiv­ing an ‘out­stand­ing rat­ing’ in chil­dren and young peo­ple ser­vices for car­ing.

Over­all both Step­ping Hill Hos­pi­tal and the trust were rated as ‘re­quir­ing im­prove­ment.’ The Trust’s chief ex­ec­u­tive has now apol­o­gised to any pa­tients who were ‘failed.’

One of the ma­jor prob­lems CQC in­spec­tors iden­ti­fied was staffing and found that at times shift fill rates were as low as 50 per cent, with the trust re­ly­ing heav­ily on bank and agency staff to fill gaps in the rota.

The lack of nurses also re­sulted in trol­leys and cu­bi­cles not al­ways be­ing cleaned be­tween pa­tients and the sluice room was ‘vis­i­bly soiled.’

Pa­tients were also re­port­edly left in an ‘undig­ni­fied man­ner’ in the cor­ri­dor ar­eas, in­clud­ing be­ing phys­i­cally ex­am­ined in those ar­eas. Some told in­spec­tors that ‘they were hu­mil­i­ated by their treat­ment.’

The re­port also said that record keep­ing was so poor, on one oc­ca­sion staff were un­aware that a pa­tient had left the de­part­ment un­til three hours later when an in­spec­tion team noted this.

There were also is­sues in the han­dover of pa­tients to the hos­pi­tal from am­bu­lance staff, with a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the num­ber of ‘black breaches,’ which is when it takes longer than 60 min­utes to trans­fer a pa­tient from NWAS to the hos­pi­tal.

Be­tween Novem­ber 2014 and Oc­to­ber 2015 there were 199 breaches, yet from Jan­uary 2016-17 there were 218 in one month alone.

The De­part­ment of Health stan­dard to ad­mit, trans­fer or dis­charge 95% of pa­tients from A&E within four hours was also again not met, with the hos­pi­tal av­er­ag­ing 77.4pc.

The Chief In­spec­tor of Hospi­tals, Prof Ted Baker, said it was dis­ap­point­ing to see that care stan­dards had de­te­ri­o­rated.

He said: “It is clear that ac­cess and flow is still a ma­jor con­cern. Too many pa­tients are wait­ing in the emer­gency de­part­ment to be ad­mit­ted, trans­ferred or dis­charged – well be­low the stan­dard set by the De­part­ment of Health.

“Al­though we recog­nise the pres­sures that the trust is un­der – it is clear that there are sev­eral ar­eas where the trust can and must im­prove. We will re­turn in due course to check the trust’s progress.”

Ann Barnes, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Stock­port NHS Trust, said that a ma­jor safety and im­prove­ment plan had been launched sev­eral months ago and that a lot of work had taken place.

She added: “We are up­set and dis­ap­pointed that we have not been get­ting it right for ev­ery pa­tient and we apol­o­gise to the in­di­vid­ual pa­tients and their fam­i­lies where the re­ports show we were fail­ing to pro­vide the best care.

“We have com­mit­ted and skilled staff who, de­spite fac­ing many pres­sures, come to work ev­ery day want­ing to pro­vide the ab­so­lute best for each pa­tient. They care deeply about what they do and this is re­flected in the ‘good’ rat­ing we re­ceived for hav­ing ‘car­ing’ ser­vices.”

Med­i­cal Direc­tor Dr Colin Was­son ad­mit­ted the trust was un­der pres­sure and says re­cruit­ment re­mains a chal­lenge na­tion­ally.

De­spite this, he em­pha­sised that staff had been work­ing hard to im­prove and that a re­cent qual­ity mon­i­tor­ing visit of the A&E de­part­ment by Health Ed­u­ca­tion Eng­land in the North West found pos­i­tive steps had been made, con­clud­ing ‘there was con­sid­er­able im­prove­ment in morale, staffing lev­els and se­nior lead­er­ship in the emer­gency medicine de­part­ment and sys­tems in the acute care path­way.’

Jon Rouse, Chief Of­fi­cer of Greater Manch­ester Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship, added: “It is clear that some el­e­ments of med­i­cal and nurs­ing care fell short of the high stan­dards that should rightly be ex­pected by pa­tients at Step­ping Hill Hos­pi­tal.

“We ac­cept the find­ings from the Care Qual­ity Com­mis­sion and have been work­ing with Stock­port’s lead­er­ship team to ad­dress these is­sues and put in place an ac­tion plan to make the nec­es­sary and re­quired im­prove­ments to care.” »»Res­i­dents voice their anger over staff park­ing - see page 17

Hill Hos­pi­tal

●»Step­ping Hill Hos­pi­tal

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