1 in 4 hospitals are a cause for concern

  • The Care Quality Commission says that one in four of acute hospital trusts in England is a cause for concern over the quality or safety of the care it provides to patients.

    In one of the most comprehensive analysis's the CQC have ever carried out, 161 acute hospital trusts were looked at and of that number 44 have caused concern for the CQC.

    Performance in some areas is so poor that it could pose a risk or an elevated risk to patients.

    The CQC examined 150 national NHS-wide measures of quality and safety of care in a new assessment system it calls "intelligent monitoring", reports the Guardian.Hospital

    Each trust the CQC examined has been put into a band from 1-6, with one being the most worrying and six being the least. This has been based on the evidence that was collected.  There are 24 trusts in band one and eleven of these trusts are in special measures.

    The criteria for these bands looked waiting times in A&E, after a referral by a GP and for cancer, the patients' trust in the doctors and nurses, rates of hospital-acquired infections and stroke patients scanned within an hour of arrival, patients safety incidents, management of patient's pain and how much help was provided to help someone eat their meal.

    "It's hugely worrying that there's such a high number of trusts where the CQC has concerns about the quality and safety of the care being delivered. But it doesn't come as much of a surprise because we know from our work that elements of poor care are widespread in the NHS," said Katherine Murphy, the charity's chief executive, who is an ex-NHS nurse and manager.

    "We don't think there's any hospital that's providing 100% high-quality, safe care. Calls to our helpline tell us that things like misdiagnosis, cancelled operations and poor care in hospital, especially elderly patients not being cared for with the compassion and dignity they deserve, happen frequently in hospitals all over the country. This problem is so endemic in the NHS," she added.

    Matt Tee, chief operating officer of the NHS Confederation, which represents hospitals, said the CQC's use of 150 measures of performance had helped it devise "a robust process for identifying which organisations should be prioritised for external inspection".

    Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1031747

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