New CQC report welcomed by RUH chief executive
12:10am Thursday 6th February 2014 in By Jill Crooks, Devizes area senior reporter
Independent inspectors found improvements at the Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath, a report published today shows.
The hospital had a damning report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following an inspection last June.
Among the findings were that a patient was left in a soiled bed for ten minutes and staff had four different systems for recording patient information which meant staff could be using information that was not up to date.
The CQC revisited the RUH in December and its report published today says the hospital is providing patients with safe and effective care, with caring staff and good clinical outcomes.
Among areas of good practice were; good progress towards seven day working with staffing at weekends similar to weekdays; a rapid assessment team in Accident and Emergency which had improved the speed at which patients who arrived by ambulance were treated and a number of innovative services have been developed to cope with high demand during the winter.
The warning notice issued last year by the CQC relating to records has now been lifted as actions have been met.
But the CQC said the hospital needed to ensure there are effective operations systems to regularly assess and monitor quality of the services provided and to identify, assess and manage risks.
The report also said while staffing levels were safe they needed to improve in the critical care and neonatal units.
In addition, during busy times on admission and short stay wards patients’ care needs were not always being met and patients still had some long waiting times for some planned surgery and outpatient appointments plus there were discharge delays for some patients with complex needs.
The RUH was one of the first hospitals to be inspected under a more rigorous regime under the CQC and the inspection team comprised 27 people.
Professor Sir Mike Richards, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said: “The RUH has faced significant challenges in the past year, particularly during the period from December 2012 to March 2013.
"There was a high demand on its services and the hospital did not have always have the capacity to cope with emergency admissions. Patients were waiting in corridors in the A&E to be treated and the day surgery unit was being used for overnight stays.
“But the trust has demonstrated that it can lead significant change effectively.
"It had been open about its challenges and has used extra funding to support alternative solutions across the local health and social care community which should improve the flows of patients in and out of the hospital.
“These changes have significantly improved how the trust manages the demand on its services and should help to ensure that patients receive good quality care.
"The staff have told us that with this renewed focus the trust is now in a better position to manage winter pressures and peaks in demand.”
James Scott, chief executive of the RUH, said: “I am delighted that the CQC have found that our staff provide safe and effective care to patients across all the services we provide.
"This new, in depth inspection regime has provided an opportunity to examine all that we do to ensure it matches best practice, as well as highlighting areas of excellence.
"The RUH will continue to learn and improve as a result.”
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