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Cornwall's main hospitals kept in special measures

Cornwall's main hospitals kept in special measures

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 5:29am 6th April 2018. (Updated at 9:47am 6th April 2018)

The trust in charge of Cornwall's biggest hospital has been rated inadequate after a second snap inspection.

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals' Trust, which runs Treliske, the West Cornwall and St Michael's in Hayle, has been handed another warning notice; its second in less than a year.

The watchdog found it has not made enough improvements since inspectors last visited back in July, when it was put into special measures.

The latest unannounced inspection was made in January and flagged up concerns in surgery, critical care, maternity and outpatient services.

The Care Quality Commission found that although improvements had been made in areas like children's services, there was not enough progress overall.

As a result, RCHT has been issued a further warning notice and told to make "significant improvements"; it has until 13th April to make sure that happens.

It remains in special measures after the previous inspection rated surgery, maternity and gynaecology, end of life and outpatient services as Inadequate.

What are the main concerns?

During the latest inspection there were serious concerns that systems to assess and deal with risks to patients in maternity and surgery were not operating effectively.

Governance systems were not operating effectively in critical care and the fracture clinic to support significant and sustained improvement.

Systems and processes to ensure equipment was of good repair and properly maintained were not operating effectively. Nor were there effective systems for the management of incidents and Never Events, or to comply with the requirements of the duty of candour.

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said: "It is disappointing to report that our longstanding concerns persist about the safety and quality of some services at Treliske Hospital.

"The hospital's systems to assess or mitigate the risks to patients are not good enough. We found that patient safety issues are not being given sufficient priority, either in the maternity unit or in surgery.

"However I am satisfied that the trust has taken action to ensure that cardiac and ophthalmology patients waiting for appointments are now being appropriately assessed and managed according to their clinical need.

"In services for children and young people, there is now appropriate and sufficient staffing cover in the emergency department.

"In all other areas work is still needed to meet the requirements of the previous Warning Notice and so provide the standard of service that patients are entitled to expect.

"We will continue to monitor these services closely and we will return in future to check these changes have been made".

What does the trust say?

RCHT Chief Executive, Kathy Byrne, said: "Following an unannounced Care Quality Commission inspection in January, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust has received a 29A Warning Notice detailing those areas where we have not yet made sufficient progress since they visited last year. The inspection report associated with the notice is released today.  

"We acknowledge and accept the criticisms and are working on every area required to ensure we succeed in getting the Trust taken out of quality special measures as soon as possible".

You can read the full report here.

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