The Care Quality Commission
(CQC) today said it had identified a series of breaches of safety and
quality standards at Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS
Trust. It ordered the trust to take immediate action, warning that it
could face enforcement action if swift improvements are not made.
CQC said there was no evidence of harm to patients as a result of the
breaches. However, the high number of breaches presented a serious concern
and the risks to patients are higher than in other trusts that comply
with the standards.
CQC today published two reports, which detail a range of concerns at the
trust. These include concerns about staffing levels, buildings and maintenance,
patient records, safeguarding arrangements and systems for assessing and
monitoring service quality.
At Scarborough Hospital CQC inspectors found the trust was fully compliant
with only one of the 16 essential standards of quality and safety. Of
the 16 standards we had a major concern in respect of 5.
At Bridlington Hospital inspectors found the trust was fully compliant
with six of the 16 standards. We had a major concern in respect of one
of the standards.
Today’s reports follow four days of inspections in July this year.
Inspectors visited both hospitals, speaking to patients, carers and staff,
and looking in detail at the care experienced by a number of people. CQC
presented its immediate concerns to the trust after the inspections.
The regulator has now given the trust 14 days to produce its plans to
show how it intends to achieve compliance. Inspectors will return to the
trust unannounced to check whether the necessary improvements have been
made and to decide whether it needs to initiate formal enforcement action.
Jo Dent, Regional Director of CQC for Yorkshire and Humber, met with the
Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust last week to
discuss the regulator’s concerns.
Ms Dent said: “No hospital will ever be risk-free, but risks can
be minimised by meeting these essential standards. We have no evidence
of people being harmed as a result of the breaches at either Scarborough
or Bridlington hospitals. But we want people to be aware that the risk
of receiving poor care is greater in these hospitals because standards
are not being met.
“When nurses don’t keep proper records on patients or when
staff aren’t trained to protect vulnerable people from abuse the
consequences can be serious. If staffing falls below safe levels, or if
staff are stretched too thinly, then people cut corners and mistakes can
She added: “It is the responsibility of the trust to make sure improvements
are made, that standards are met and that patients receive the safest
possible care. In the meantime we will be monitoring the trust closely
and will not hesitate to take action if standards don’t improve.
At Scarborough Hospital, the most significant concerns included:
Care and welfare of people who use services: Records which should have
been kept by nurses to assess, plan and deliver care were incomplete in
places, particularly on the medical wards.
Safeguarding people from abuse: Most staff had not been trained in adult
safeguarding. Inspectors found that the use of restraint, including bedrails,
was not adequately assessed or documented. Guidance for staff was not
finalised. Non-clinical risks to children using play areas did not appear
to have been assessed.
Safety and suitability of premises: Inspectors noted a backlog of maintenance
work, and numerous general safety issues Including disabled access, trip
hazards and poor signage. There was no process to report findings of any
environmental risk assessments to the facilities directorate.
Staffing: A shortage of junior doctors was due to be addressed during
the summer. Inspectors noted that numbers of medical staff on duty did
not match numbers required by staff rotas in some areas, such as the accident
and emergency department. After 1am, only junior doctors were routinely
available in the A and E department, although senior doctors were on call.
On a number of occasions, numbers of nursing staff were lower than the
levels deemed by the trust itself to be safe.
Assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision: Records containing
risk assessments and clinical audit findings were mostly poor. Inspectors
found significant concerns about the effectiveness of monitoring arrangements
and the trust’s ability to regularly assess and monitor the quality
At Bridlington Hospital, the most significant concern related to:
Safeguarding people who use services from abuse: Training in safeguarding
vulnerable people is in place but most staff had not yet been trained.
Inspectors found that the use of restraint, including bedrails, was not
adequately assessed or documented. Guidance for staff was not finalised.
CQC said that, alongside the breaches, it did identify two areas of improvement.
In April, when it introduced a new registration system, CQC registered
the trust on two conditions, requiring it to:
a full risk assessment of its premises and put plans in place to make
improvements to the environment.
employ more medical records staff
CQC said the trust had addressed these two issues and it would lift the
conditions. However, it warned that the trust faced tougher enforcement
action if it did not address the series of concerns raised in today’s
For further information contact David Fryer Regional Communications Manager
on 07901 514220.
You can also contact the CQC press office on 0207 448 9401 or out of hours
on 07917 232 143.
From Mick Pilling......09/10/2010
To one and all I have to put this email out, this story is disgusting,
for patients to suffer, health is paramount.
I have complained for years about the problems listed here. The Care Quality
Commission (CQC) visited the Scarborough Hospital & Bridlington in
July 2010 and maybe, just maybe they have picked up on some of the stories
I have reported and complained about.
See what you think, read the stories, the Scarborough NHS Trust should