A Leytonstone hospital has been heavily criticised and pressured into urgent change by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) due to its unsatisfactory approach to staffing, clinical hygiene and care for the elderly.
The hospital in question is Whipps Cross Hospital in East London was found to leave floors stained and bins overfull in maternity wards, placing mothers and their babies at serious risk of contracting infections. To the shock of inspectors from the healthcare watchdog, patients were also found to be without the privacy of curtains and other serious failures were discovered on elderly care and surgical wards. A report has now been published detailing the full extent of the hospital’s shortcomings.
Whipps Cross Hospital – the history of poor standards
Three warnings have already been served upon Whipps Cross Hospital after inspectors made alarming findings during random visits. The hospital has therefore been aware of the need to improve standards but these improvements cannot come soon enough according to the CQC and another regulatory body, Monitor.
Some of the findings included women remaining in labour wards for hours before they were seen by a suitable member of the medical staff. Indeed, the level of care being provided to patients as well as the level of hygiene on wards was found to be well below the standards expected. The hospital has also been found to have very high mortality rates compared with the national average.
Many of the problems may come down to staffing. For example, appropriately qualified paediatric surgical experts are often not available when needed. Furthermore, the staff on elderly care wards were found not to treat patients compassionately at times and often failed to provide the assistance with food and drink that they needed.
In light of the terrible failings discovered at the hospital, the head of the CQC Sir Mike Richards has named the Barts Health NHS Trust as one of the 6 NHS trusts considered to posed a high risk to patients. Indeed, senior managers may lose their jobs as a result of the most recent findings and managers from other hospitals in the trust may be brought in to Whipps Cross Hospital in a bid to improve the way the hospital is managed.
The Trust quickly issues an apology and made it clear that it recognised the importance of improving staffing and hygiene post-haste.
Promises have now been made by the Trust to organise extensive training courses for all staff on the maternity and elderly care wards in a bid to restore public confidence in the hospital and avoid further sanction from the CQC. The Trust has also reallocated senior managers from other hospitals in the region to Whipps Cross to that they can use their expertise to improve how the hospital is run.
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