Posted on June 22, 2015

CQC finds A&E staffing problems in Worcestershire

An inspection by the CQC has found that A&E departments run by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust are being overwhelmed due to inadequate staffing numbers. The chief inspector of hospitals in England, Professor Sir Mike Richards, has given the trust warning notices and has requested that action is taken as soon as possible. This news was made public last month but the details are only now becoming available. The inspections were unannounced and were carried out in March at both the Alexandra Hospital and the Worcestershire Royal Hospital. Problems in the A&E departments included delays in handing over patients from the ambulances to the A&E department, a shortage of both senior medical staff and nurses, and issues with safeguarding procedures. The CQC also raised questions about the management of medicines. It was found that the lack of staff led to the department being overwhelmed. Inspectors found that there were problems in rota planning and the process of escalation. The CQC found that the staff planning process was not designed to meet the needs of the patient and that senior staff have already raised the issue of low staffing levels with senior management. At times the escalation process could not be carried out due to the severe pressure within the A&E departments. There is now a condition placed on the registration of the trust with the CQC and the trust has to ensure that there are enough trained and qualified staff on site to handle patients when they arrive. The CQC has also issued warnings about the maintenance of equipment.
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