Health services found to be inadequate

Saturday 28 December 2019

The local NHS Trust serving East and North Hertfordshire has been rated as "requires improvement" in a report published by the Care Quality Commission.

This is the third consecutive report to find inadequacies in the Trust's services, following earlier critical reports in 2018 and 2016.

In their report, the CQC said: "We found areas for improvement including 33 breaches of legal requirements that the trust must put right. We found 65 things that the trust should improve to comply with a minor breach that did not justify regulatory action, to prevent breaching a legal requirement, or to improve service quality."

Failings were found at Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Mount Vernon Cancer Centre and the new QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City.

Eight of the trust’s services as requires improvement and two as good.

"Not all services controlled infection risks well and medicines were not consistently managed well across the trust. These were similar to concerns we found at our previous inspection. Whilst the trust had taken some actions to make improvements, these were yet to be embedded", says the report.

However, Hertford County Hospital was rated as 'Good' in all areas - as safe, caring, responsive and well-led.

Other services have also seen improvement since the previous report. 

Outstanding practice was found at Lister Hospital's Childrens' a Young Peoples' Services: "... the play team regularly attended adult wards such as palliative care wards or the critical care unit, to assist children whose parents were acutely unwell or at the end of their lives. Transitional services were highly responsive to the individual needs of young people and had tailored their services to meet the needs of all children and especially those with protected characteristics in line with the Equality Act 2010."

Following the report, the CQC have issued four requirement notices to the trust, which now has to send a report saying what action it will take to meet the requirements. 

"We will make sure that the trust takes the necessary action to improve its services. We will continue to monitor the safety and quality of services through our continuing relationship with the trust and our regular inspections", says the CQC report.

Responding to the report's findings, Trust Chief Executive Nick Carver said: "We welcome the report from the CQC, and we are pleased that it shows improvement in many areas. Our fantastic staff work hard every day to make sure our services are the best they can be – and that patients are treated safely and with compassion.

"I am particularly pleased at the progress at the New QEII, and in our surgery teams over the last year.

"We know that we still have a lot of work to do, to ensure improvements in the areas highlighted by the inspectors and to support our ambition of achieving a Good rating from the CQC. We are already working with our staff, patients and our partners on these areas to ensure that the people of East and North Hertfordshire continue to receive the best care."

The CQC's full report can be found at (PDF).

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