The Care Quality Commission (CQC) who are the NHS care watchdog have revealed their shocking findings at an east London hospital.
Inspectors conducted unannounced visits to Whipps Cross hospital in May and June of this year, visitng the emergency, elderly, maternity and surgery departments. What was found highlighted that the hospital was failing to meet 10 of the 16 national standards of quality and safety. The CQC have subsequently issued three enforcement notices requiring improvements by the end of August.
Concerns have been raised after inspectors spotted blood-stained equipment, poor hygiene standards, patients not being helped to eat and a high mortality rate. There are also warnings about the safety of equipment, with staff failing to verify whether resuscitation equipment had been regularly checked or faults reported.
“We saw examples of poor care, unacceptable staff behaviour and poor infection control in maternity services. In surgery, theatre processes and communication arrangements put people’s safety at risk. Surgery and maternity were both too busy, did not have enough staff to look after people’s needs, and lacked bed capacity, which meant they were not as effective as they should be and not always responsive to people’s needs,” one of the CQC’s two reports into the hospital said.
On the maternity ward inspectors found a new mother in a blood-stained gown complaining of pain being given sarcastic and unsympathetic treatment. She was later given unexplained medication and the wrong milk formula for the baby, and was not bought the correct one either.
The A&E unit had not met the key NHS target of treating 95% of patients within four hours for six months. It was also found that patients arriving via ambulance sometimes ended up receiving treatment whilst still on the trolley.
There appeared to be a lack of staff in the elderly care unit, and found that people where not getting the appropriate amount of care. There were cases of food and water being placed out of reach of patients and no help given to help them eat it either.
Barts Health NHS Trust’s chief executive, Peter Morris, said: “We have taken immediate action to rectify the failures to ensure we meet standards across the hospital at all times.”
Another unidentified inspection will take place later this month.